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    How to Tell If You Have Lower Testosterone Levels

    If we asked you what testosterone does, you’d undoubtedly mention things like build strength and muscle mass, and improve sex drive. In short, all the attributes we’ve come to equate with masculinity, especially when we’re at our peak in our late teens and early 20s. So, not surprisingly, when you no longer feel like the man you were and start to ask why, lower T is often the culprit.

    What is testosterone?
    Testosterone belongs to a class of male hormones known as androgens (aka steroids). It’s both androgenic (causing male physical characteristics) and anabolic (causing development and growth of muscle), the latter being far more interesting to the average guy trying to get jacked.
    Produced primarily in the testes and the adrenal glands, testosterone is involved with a variety of important processes in the body. It helps control development of male sex organs and kicks into high gear during puberty, when secondary sexual characteristics develop. These include not just an increase in size of the penis and testicles, but also the sprouting of facial and body hair. In addition, it’s typically accompanied by a growth spurt and the development of stronger, more visible musculature.
    As men mature, testosterone plays a critical role in sex drive, maintaining healthy red blood cell and sperm counts, and—drumroll, please—the maintenance and increasing development of muscle mass and strength.
    Signs of lower testosterone
    Testosterone doesn’t just get up and leave the body on a whim. Instead, the side effects sneak up on you as you age, first causing you to question how good you used to feel in the sack or in the gym. Then you start to notice your muscle-mass gains are nonexistent, and you’re actually getting smaller and weaker.
    Fatigue and a growing lack of interest in sex, training, and sports are the next indication that something’s just not right. Before you know it, you’re crying at movies and dog food ads.
    How to boost lower testosterone levels
    The good news: Lower testosterone doesn’t have to happen to you…or keep happening to you. There are steps you can take to eliminate the symptoms and get to the core of the issue. It starts with diet and exercise.
    Among the foods that can improve your natural testosterone production are oysters, which are rich in zinc; fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, which have high levels of vitamin D; and eggs, which contain cholesterol, the building block of testosterone (note: you don’t want to overdue it with the cholesterol, since too much can lead to health issues down the road). Other good foods to prioritize for increased T levels include onions, garlic, spinach, and broccoli.
    In the gym, intense workouts involving large muscle groups, heavy resistance, and minimal rest between sets are the best prescription for T production. Compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, bentover rows, and bench press should be used in place of leg extensions, pec deck, and hyperextensions. It’s critical you stress your body to get the biggest hormonal surge, and isolation movements just don’t cut it.
    Finally, sleep is a critical part of the lower-T conundrum.
    If you don’t get eight hours of sleep per night, your body becomes catabolic. First, your body is unable to adequately recover from hard training sessions. Second, reduced sleep causes an increase in the manufacture of cortisol. This burns up muscle tissue, increases fat deposition (especially in the belly), and reduces testosterone production.
    How supps can help increase testosterone
    If you feel as if you may be experiencing reduced testosterone levels, take the quiz below to find out. Depending on the results, adding a supplemental testosterone booster might help put you back in the game. One good option to consider is Nugenix Total-T. You might be familiar with the supp from its appearance in this SNL skit:
    [embedded content]
    Think of Nugenix as a supercharged multivitamin. It’s got vitamins B6 and B12; zinc; L-citrulline malate (amino acid); Testofen®, a patented fenugreek extract (ayurvedic herb); ElevATP® Blend, a natural combination of ancient peat and apple polyphenols; and eurycoma longifolia extract, a plant in which the root is thought to heighten testosterone levels.
    Nugenix Total-T may increase sex drive, improve sexual function, and increase muscle strength and endurance in men suffering from lower testosterone.
    Do you have lower testosterone levels?
    To find out, tally up how many of the following you’ve experienced:
    1. Low sex drive: Any reduction is bad; a drastic drop-off signals problems.
    2. Difficulty achieving erection: If you depend on Viagra or Cialis, that’s not good.
    3. Significant loss of muscle mass
    4. Increase in body fat
    5. Fatigue and lack of energy: If you’re sleeping seven to eight hours a night yet feel sluggish, something’s wrong.
    6. Lack of enthusiasm: The inability to get excited about life in general is a sign of low T.
    7. Mood changes: Are you irritable or depressed most of the time? It could be hormonal.
    8. Low semen volume: A noticeable decrease in ejaculate isn’t normal.
    9. Hair loss: It could be on your head, but also on your face and body.
    10. Shrinkage of testicles: If your gonads feel smaller or softer to the touch, be cautious.
    Results
    If you answered “yes” to three or fewer of the above symptoms, you’re in pretty good shape. If you’re in the four to six range, you may have lower-T trouble brewing. It’s time to look closely at your diet and exercise regimen. Finally, if you’re experiencing seven or more of the symptoms, lower T is the likely cause.

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    Best High-Protein Snacks to Eat Anytime, Anywhere

    Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle. However, muscle isn’t just built after your workout is done. Consuming protein after your workout makes enzymes that allow key chemical reactions to take place within your body. These enzymes are crucial to regulating your body’s hormones, maintaining the fluid balance in your blood and tissues, and forming antibodies to protect your body from bacteria and viruses. Protein has many roles in your body, so it’s used constantly throughout the day. That’s why it’s important, not just for building muscle, but overall health to consume protein at every meal and in between—including high-protein snacks.

    Protein requirements vary per individual and specific goals, but overall you should aim to consume between 1.2-2.0 grams per kg body weight per day. Yes, that’s more than the generic RDA of 0.8 grams per kg body weight, which we find too modest; it’s the minimum you need from getting sick.
    High-protein snacks are key to getting your body the protein and amino acids in between meal periods—or if you’re going a few hours in between meals. A high-protein snack should provide at least 10 grams of protein per serving and be easy to eat at home or on the go. In addition, watch out for the added sugar content (keep it under 10 grams of added sugar) and make sure the ingredients are ones you’re familiar with. Take a look at these high-protein snacks (store-bought and homemade) to help you get protein all day long.
    Best High-Protein Snacks to Eat Anytime, Anywhere
    Joseph Gonzalez/Unsplash1. Hard Boiled Eggs
    Eggs are one of the best cheap protein sources, with each average egg providing 6 to 7 grams of protein. They’re versatile; cook up a frittata, shakshuka, or omelette for breakfast. For on-the-go snacks, hard boil half a dozen at the start of the week and store in the fridge.
    Protein per serving (2 eggs): 12 g protein

    Flavor-filled meat sticks made from grass-fed and free-range beef, venison, and turkey. Chomps2. Chomps Meat Sticks
    Chomps meat sticks are crafted with high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients—including grass-fed beef and venison, as well as free-range, antibiotic-free turkey. With nine unique flavors like Italian-Style Beef and Pepperoni Seasoned Turkey, you’ll never get flavor fatigue. Plus they’re gluten-free, compatible with paleo, keto, and Whole30, and allergy-friendly.
    Protein per serving (1 Pepperoni Seasoned Turkey Stick): 10 g protein
    [From $14.99; chomps.com]
    Get it

    Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein Balls Courtesy Image3. Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein Balls
    In the morning, mid-day, late night, in the car, or on the trail, these protein balls are an easy, delicious way to get protein. They’re made with 100 percent whole grain oats and non-GMO ingredients for wholesome, nutritious snacking. Bonus: They’re easy to prepare (just add water and roll!).
    Protein per serving (2 balls): 20 g protein
    [$5.50; kodiakcakes.com]
    Get it

    Simply Snackin Bars Courtesy Image4. Simply Snackin Bars
    Simply Snackin make on-the-go protein snacks that are nourishing and simple. The bars only include real ingredients like grass-fed beef or chicken, free of antibiotics or added hormones. They’re void of gluten and artificial flavors or colors.
    Protein per serving (1 Chicken With Hemp Seeds bar): 11 g protein
    [From $36.80; simplysnackin.com]
    Get it

    Wonderful Pistachios Roasted & Salted No Shells Courtesy Image5. Pistachios
    Pistachios are the ultimate plant-based protein source as they contain all essential amino acids in adequate amounts for optimal health. The best part is they’re convenient on the go and don’t require any preparation. Additionally, they provide fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats to help your body refuel and recover before and after a workout
    Protein per serving (1.5 oz kernels): 10 g protein
    [From $5.99; amazon.com]
    Get it

    Scout Wild Albacore Tuna SCOUT6. Scout Wild Albacore Tuna
    Tuna is an excellent source of protein and these single-serve cans make it easy to store and travel with (just remember your can opener!). They feature hand-cut tuna fillets that are cooked and packaged to preserve omega-3 oils with nothing else added. The best part? In addition to protein, each 3-oz serving provides roughly 705 mg of healthy EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids.
    Protein per serving (1 can): 21 g protein
    [$31.99/4 pk or $28.79/monthly subscription; enjoyscout.com]
    Get it

    Kize Bars Kize Concepts7. Kize Bars
    Kize Bars might be the cleanest protein bars you can buy. They taste more like a no-bake cookie or peanut butter fudge, and some flavors have as little as four ingredients.  Great as a high-protein snack, on-the-go fuel, or a healthy dessert.
    Protein per serving (1 bar) 10 g protein
    [From $29.99; kizeconcepts.com]

    Food Collection / Shutterstock
    8. Real California Cottage Cheese
    Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and contains relatively few calories.  It also provides an ideal combination of whey and casein. which provide quick- and slow-digesting protein. It’s packed with many other nutrients for health like B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium. It’s also versatile enough to incorporate into different meals and snacks.
    Protein per serving (1 cup low-fat): 28 g protein
    [realcaliforniamilk.com]
    Get it

    Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Egg Bites, Uncured Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Vital Farms9. Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Egg Bites, Uncured Bacon & Cheddar Cheese
    Eggs are a great protein source (as we already mentioned) but sometimes you want to make them a little more exciting. Vital Farms Egg Bites are made with ethically sourced ingredients like pasture-raised eggs and cheese, and humanely raised meats. On top of that, they’re delicious and come in convenient packs to microwave and take with you anywhere in just 45 seconds.
    Protein per serving (2 bites): 18 g protein
    [vitalfarms.com]
    Get it

    Fage Total Greek Yogurt 0% Courtesy Image10. Fage Total Greek Yogurt
    Greek yogurt is a little different than its traditional counterparts. Greek yogurt is lower in sugar, higher in protein, and creamier than regular yogurt. It’s filled with not just protein but calcium, probiotics, and vitamin B. It often comes in single-serving portions, making it a great high-protein snack in between meals. You can also add to your favorite smoothie.
    Protein per serving (Fage Total 0% 6-oz container): 18 grams protein
    [$1.29; usa.fage]

    Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Walnut Collagen Protein Oats Courtesy Image11. Purely Elizabeth Blueberry Walnut Collagen Protein Oats
    Oatmeal is a breakfast favorite for its convenience and fiber content. Purely Elizabeth makes it even better by adding premium grass-fed bovine collagen and an added packet of Nuttzo nut butter to pack a high-protein punch. The blueberries, walnuts, ancient grains, and superfood seeds lend satisfying texture and flavor to boot.
    Protein per serving (2-oz cup): 11 g protein
    [$2.99 or $2.54 for subscription; purelyelizabeth.com]
    Get it

    Kite Hill Protein Yogurt Kite Hill12. Kite Hill Protein Yogurt
    Kit Hill yogurt is a great-tasting blend of almonds and soy to pack in the protein and faba bean for added creaminess in a new plant-based yogurt. Kite Hill Protein Yogurt is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. Best of all, it doesn’t sacrifice on taste or the smooth, creamy texture that many seek, but cannot find in dairy-free items.
    Protein per serving (Blueberry, 5.3-oz cup): 10 g protein
    [$2.39; kite-hill.com]
    Get it

    Nature Zen/Unsplash13. DIY Protein Shake
    There’s nothing easier than bringing your own protein powder (whey or vegan) and mixing in your shaker bottle. But if you have the time, make a complete and delicious post-workout smoothie to kickstart recovery or provide an extra boost of protein between meals. Here’s a recipe with a tropical spin:
    Ingredients
    16 oz milk of choice (or orange juice)
    1-2 scoop vanilla or unflavored protein powder (whey or vegan)
    3/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
    ½ cup frozen mango
    ½ frozen banana
    1/2 ripe avocado peeled
    1 tsp chia seeds
    1 scoop Athletic Greens powder
    Instructions
    Combine all ingredients
    Blend until smooth.
    Jordan Mazur, MS, RD is the director of nutrition for the San Francisco 49ers.

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    These Food and Drink Trends Are Coming to a Kitchen Near You

    For one weekend a year, tastemakers from around the world head to Colorado for the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. For three days (Sept. 10–12 this year), chefs like Martha Stewart, Guy Fieri, Melissa King, Kwame Onwuachi, Andrew Zimmern, Rodney Scott, and Justin Chapple host a series of live cooking demonstrations while wine experts like Mark Oldman, Garrett Oliver, and Alpana Singh lead guided tastings. After that, attendees sample dynamic nibbles and free-flowing wine in the Grand Tasting Pavilion. It’s exactly as opulent as it sounds.

    But it’s not just a party. The Classic has historically served as a food trends forecaster and a great place to discover talent before it gets broadly recognized by everybody else. Because many of the usual 5,000 attendees (reduced to 2,500 this year due to COVID-19 measures) are involved in the food and beverage industry, those trends are accelerated—attendees bring their new favorites home and often share them with their communities.
    “Chefs exist in a sort of ecosystem, so when you see something at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, those are going to be the first signs of trends that we’re going to see throughout the industry in the next year or two,” Mary-Frances Heck, a senior food editor at Food & Wine, told Men’s Journal.
    Wondering what the next big food and beverage trends will be? Here’s a look at what might be coming to your table soon.

    The Biggest Food and Drink Trends to Know
    1. Plant-Based Meat and Dairy Alternatives
    If you were to guess what celebrity chef Guy Fieri was dishing up at his seminar, you’d likely wager that the creation would be meat-based, cheese-heavy, and wildly over-the-top. In this case, you’d only be partially correct. Fieri did make an extravagant burger—but it was entirely vegan. The patty was created from vegetables and his signature cheese sauce was crafted from flax egg, cashews, and brewer’s yeast. Even in a crowd of carnivores, it was a hit. It was also far from the only plant-based treat on offer throughout the weekend.
    “I think plant-based cooking is an undeniable trend,” Heck said. “Now it’s really crave-able and chefs who traditionally haven’t hung their hat on plant-based cooking are getting into it and having fun with it.”
    2. CBD

    Cannabis has been legal in Colorado since 2014, but it has only recently begun to appear at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. This year its presence was even larger.
    Lord Jones brought luxury, small-batch, hemp-derived CBD gumdrops. Ocean Spray formally debuted its new CBD-infused sparkling water, CarryOn, at the Classic. The brand has two varieties—blueberry-flavored Relax and grapefruit-forward Recover—both of which contain 20mg of CBD. And Red Belly Honey, a brand that uses bees to craft a one-of-a-kind nectar and hemp hybrid, used its honey to make some tasty venison lemongrass skewers.
    “They were all striking, both for their purported health properties but also for having great taste,” Heck said.
    The presence of so many CBD brands shows that the stigma that has long surrounded cannabis is diminishing, at least somewhat. It wouldn’t be surprising if more restaurants incorporated CBD-infused ingredients into their dishes.
    3. Sustainable Practices
    Sustainability and its synonyms have been the buzzwords du jour in the food and drink sphere in recent years. If the Classic is any indication, it’s only going to become more popular. In cooking demos, wine tastings, and within the tasting pavilion, hosts frequently touted their sustainable practices.
    One of the driving factors, says Heck, is that people are generally becoming more interested in knowing where their food comes from and how it’s sourced.
    The seminar that delved most deeply into sustainability was the “Wine for a Healthy Planet” seminar, led by Ray Isle, executive wine editor at Food & Wine. It explored what it means to be organic, biodynamic, and regenerative in the wine industry, whether or not that changes how the wine tastes (answer: generally for the better), and why it’s important to get climate change under control (answer: so we can continue to have good wine).

    4. Premium Canned Wine
    In the past, canned wines have gotten a bad rap. The earliest iterations were mass-marketed and the juice within wasn’t particularly high-quality. That’s changing, though.
    “Winemakers who are really smart and really ambitious are seeing what they can do with this canned format,” Isle said, adding that there were multiple booths at the Grand Tastings that were slinging some pretty remarkable canned wines. Want to try one? Check out Sans Wine Company, which specializes in organic wines and has several canned varieties on offer.
    It also plays into sustainability—canned wine has a significantly lower carbon footprint than wine that’s sold in glass bottles.
    5. More Mezcal

    Given the name, it makes sense that the Classic used to exclude liquor and beer, but in recent years the organizers have started branching out beyond wine. One of the most prominent alcoholic beverages at the 2021 event was mezcal (including Doña Vega above). Isle argued that there has been more public interest in the agave-based spirit recently, and Heck noted that many varieties of mezcal have gained an increased appreciation as sipping spirits.
    6. Fruit- and Vegetable-Forward Desserts

    Rustic apple crostata with a cheddar cheese crust, pumpkin milk pie, and red grape cake with whipped creme fraiche were a few of the desserts that domestic phenom Martha Stewart brought to the table during her seminar (aptly titled “Fruit Desserts”). But she was far from the only chef who used fruits and vegetables to make sweet treats. Pastry chef Paola Velez (who was named one of the Best New Chefs of 2021) served plantain sticky buns during one of the tasting events. Similarly, chef Thessa Diadem’s sweet potato sticky bun was used in marketing materials throughout the weekend. You might encounter similar delicacies on a dessert menu soon: Heck said she expects to see a wider variety of fruits and veggies incorporated into desserts served at restaurants in the future.
    7. Elevated Comfort Food
    In many restaurants, grilled cheese is often relegated to the kids’ menu. In chef Brooke Williamson’s kitchen (or more specifically, in her seminar “Not Your Mama’s Grilled Cheese”), it’s doctored up with onions caramelized in fish sauce, charred kale, and bourbon tempura onion rings. The following morning, chef Kristen Kish did a riff on another kid favorite, the fillet of fish sandwich. During her seminar, the handheld was given a fine dining execution using steamed fish, a caper sauce in place of the traditional tartar, and phyllo dough instead of a burger bun.
    “[One trend is] looking at what people are really craving and giving it to them in a new and exciting way,” Heck said, adding that many flavor profiles on display at the event had elements of nostalgia and familiarity.
    8. Diverse Kitchens

    Every year, Aspen Food & Wine recognizes the best new chefs (past winners include chefs like David Chang, Thomas Keller, and Michael Symon). While there were some outliers previously, the list often featured mainly straight, white men. This year, however, the list includes Matt Horn, a Black pitmaster; Thessa Diadem, a Filipina pastry chef; Fermín Núñez, a Latino masa master; Angel Barreto, a Black Puerto Rican chef who helms a contemporary Korean restaurant; and Ji Hye Kim, a Korean chef, among others.
    “That platform has always always tried to anticipate trends in the food world, both in terms of what’s being put on the plate and in terms of who’s putting it there,” Isle said. “If you look at this group of best new chefs and compare it to say, 20 years ago, it’s vastly more diverse. That represents a huge trend of what’s happening in the restaurant world as a whole.”

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    Best Supplements for Men

    Men’s Journal aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.
    Questions? Reach us at shop@mensjournal.com.
    When you hit the gym hard, it can be tempting to load up on every shiny tub of mysterious purple powder you can get your hands on in hopes it’ll turn you into vintage Schwarzenegger overnight. But rather than loading up on some generic “best supplements” just because they’re popular, it makes sense to identify your specific needs as an athlete, then address those issues first.
    Are you a hardcore powerlifter? A physique-focused bodybuilder? A long-distance cyclist? All those endeavors require slightly different nutrient profiles—but it’s important to start with the fundamentals.
    “The average guy doesn’t always need to take anything crazy,” says Kylene Bogden, M.S., a board-certified sports dietician at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine. “If your diet is great and you’re sleeping well, it’s rare you’d need anything besides these select supplements.”
    Oh, and one more thing: If you’re subsisting on late-night fries and couch pizza, fix that problem first. “Our rule is ‘food first,’” says Damon McCune, M.S., the director of performance nutrition for the athletics program at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas and a consultant to physique athletes and bodybuilders. “The number one thing I see across the board is people aren’t eating enough. This means they’re deficient in one or more nutrients because of that.”
    So before you blow your next paycheck on some rattlesnake venom that promises to increase your bench press max (hint: it won’t), make sure you’ve got your nutrition plan down. If you’re still feeling sluggish in the morning or run-down after workouts—and your doctor gives you the go-ahead—consider taking these seven nutritionist-recommended supplements to get what you need. More

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    These Vegan BBQ Products Are the Closest Thing to Real Meat

    Vegan BBQ options for summertime grilling sessions have finally bounded beyond the ubiquitous—and undeniably bland—frozen bean and soy burgers of seasons past. Now there are loads of vegan BBQ products for those trying to cut back on their carnivorous impulses and help lessen the enormous impact raising livestock has on the plant.From marbled rib-eyes and brats bursting with meaty flavor, you can now sink your teeth into a wide variety of “meats” made from plants, and still enjoy a good old outdoor barbecue session. The best part is not only do you get to experience the satisfying sensation of cooking over fire, but you can feel good about where your grilled goods came from.These Vegan BBQ Products Are the Closest Thing to Real MeatCourtesy Image1. Beyond Meat Brat Original SausageA wizardly amalgamation of peas, fava beans, and rice protein is emulsified with potato starch and apple fiber to achieve the texture of pork sausage without soy or gluten binders. Beet juice provides color, and an algae-derived casing lends a satisfying sizzle. These links hold up beautifully on the grill, so you can get a full-on char. For a plot twist, slice them up for a killer addition to grilled pizza. Compared to pork brats, each link has 43 percent less fat and 2 more grams of protein (16 g).[$7; beyondmeat.com]Get itCourtesy Image2. Impossible Burger PattiesIt looks, cooks, and tastes like beef—but this juicy impostor has no antibiotics or animal hormones,no cholesterol, and 19 g protein (same as 80/20 chopped meat) from soy. Impossible ferments genetically engineered yeast (more sustainable than the traditional method of harvesting soy plants) to create heme, an iron-rich, crimson-colored molecule that makes the patty “bleed.” These quarter-pounders also generate 89 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than cows do.[From $5; impossiblefoods.com]Get itCourtesy Image3. Nasoya Extra Firm Organic TofuWith just four ingredients (mainly water and soybeans) and very little sodium, tofu brings the greatest versatility to your grill. Stack cubes with vegetables and even fruit (think bell peppers, zucchini and pineapple), then play with marinades (marinate overnight to maximize flavor), sauces, and glazes for knockout kebabs. Thai peanut, pineapple teriyaki, or classic BBQ brings this low-fat, cholesterol-free food to new heights. While it’s lower in protein (9 g), it has all nine essential amino acids.[$3; nasoya.com]Get itCourtesy Image4. Field Roast Classic Smoked FrankfurterA little smoky with that signature snap when you sink your teeth in, these hearty franks pack 20 g protein. They’re made by forming a “dough” of water, wheat gluten, and plant oils with traditional flavorings: fresh onion and garlic, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, spices like paprika and celery seed, and hickory smoke. They’re steamed in an oven and come fully cooked. Just get these babies fire-licked, then load ’em up with all the fixings for a classic ballpark dog.[$5; fieldroast.com]Get itCourtesy Image5. The Herbivorous Butcher Rib-EyeSeitan is wheat gluten flour mixed with water. When seared, boiled, baked, and steamed, the fibrous texture builds to mimic the mouthfeel of steak, then vegan fat is folded in to create marbling. This rib-eye gets its iron-rich flavor from tomato paste. And while it’s flavored with soy, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard, you can still use your favorite marinades and dry rubs. A 4-oz serving has 26 g protein, less than 1 g sugar, just over 300 mg sodium, and 280 calories.[$33; theherbivourousbutcher.com]Get itFor access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube! More

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    9 Healthier Sodas and Sparkling Beverages to Sip On

    You probably never thought you’d hear “soda” and “healthy” in the same sentence, unless there was “not” sandwiched between. But we’re not talking about a 12-oz Coca-Cola clocking 39 g sugar. You can drop-kick that right out of your fridge, because the latest beverage revolution is riding the coattails of healthified junk foods. Brands are prioritizing health and wellness, creating healthier sodas and sparkling beverages with less than 6 g sugar and added benefits like probiotics and adaptogens. If you’re someone who can’t cut out soda altogether from your diet, these options highlighted below are way more virtuous and dare we say even tastier. But before we dive into those, let’s be real for a minute: Obesity and diabetes are major health concerns in the U.S., and there’s no question our diet and lifestyle play major roles in both diseases. One major contributor is excessive caloric intake in the form of added sugars found in a lot of processed foods. From 2017 to 2018, the average intake of added sugars for adults aged 20 years and older was 17 teaspoons (68 g sugar), according to the CDC. Adults should limit their added sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons (24 g sugar) each day, per the American Heart Association.One major contributor of those added sugars in the diet are soft drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages. You shouldn’t be drinking majority of your calories anyway, so this is an easy way to dial in your nutrition.Jordan Mazur, M.S., R.D., is the director of nutrition for the San Francisco 49ers9 Healthier Sodas and Sparkling Beverages to Sip OnCourtesy Image1. OlipopOlipop is a new-age fizzy tonic that boasts prebiotics, plant fiber, and botanicals that not only taste great but also help your digestive health. The best part is its lineup of flavors only contain between 2 to 5 g sugar and 45 calories per can.Get itCourtesy Image2. PoppiPoppi is a better-for-you prebiotic soda great for gut health and an extra immunity boost. Each can has real, clean ingredients and boasts fewer than 25 calories and 5 g sugar. All contain the brand’s star ingredient: pure, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. With classic and fruit flavors, and 90 percent less sugar than other sodas, Poppi can quench your thirst and then some.Get itCourtesy Image3. Wave SodaWave is a new take on healthy soda—comprising 85 percent sparkling water, 15 percent fruit juice, and 42 mg natural caffeine. Each can has just 15 to 25 calories and 2 to 6 g sugar, depending on the flavor. They all have natural ingredients and are entirely void of added sugars and sweeteners.Get itCourtesy Image4. United Sodas of AmericaUnited Sodas is a modern soda brand that tastes as good as it looks. It’s reminiscent of your favorite sparkling water due to its lightly carbonated fizz and low sugar, but comes in surprising flavors such as Blackberry Jam, Pear Elderflower, and Toasted Coconut. Each drink clocks in under 30 calories, contains no artificial ingredients, and is organically sweetened, making it the perfect alternative for health-conscious soda lovers.Get itCourtesy Image5. Kin SpritzKin Spritz is a sparkling bev with ingredients intended to rouse your mind and invigorate energy levels. It’s crafted with fresh citrus, warm spice, hibiscus, ginger, and caffeine plus adaptogens like rhodiola rosea and nootropics like GABA, which work in tandem to get you through your morning or afternoon slump.Get itCourtesy Image6. Live SodasLive Sodas are naturally sweetened with monk fruit and loaded with probiotics to help your waistline and gut health. Its lineup of five flavors are caffeine-free and contain zero added sugars or dyes.Get itCourtesy Image7. Corsa Co.Corsa may look retro, but it’s soda formulated for the 21st century. Botanicals sourced directly from farmers ensure high-quality flavors: Kola packs all the flavor of the West African nut plus citrus and spice. Its 5 g sugar is derived from beets. If you want lighter alternatives, opt for its floral and citrus Spritz or bitter and botanical Cays. They all have 350 mg hydrating minerals, so you get the added benefit of electrolytes.Get itCourtesy Image8. Culture Pop SodasCulture Pop sodas are made with only organic juices, spices, and probiotics, making this soda functional, not just delicious. They have unique flavors like Orange Mango Chili & Lime, Wild Berries Basil & Lime, and Pink Grapefruit Ginger & Juniper.Get itCourtesy Image9. RecessThis sparkling beverage helps calm the mind and lift your mood with a functional blend of magnesium, ginseng, L-theanine, lemon balm, and active B6. Made with natural ingredients and sweetened with real fruit, each can has 5g natural sugar and fewer than 20 calories. They also make a CBD-infused line if you’re looking for calm and clarity.Get itFor access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube! More

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    Healthier Sodas and Sparkling Beverages to Sip On

    You probably never thought you’d hear “soda” and “healthy” in the same sentence, unless there was “not” sandwiched between. But we’re not talking about a 12-oz Coca-Cola clocking 39 g sugar. You can drop-kick that right out of your fridge, because the latest beverage revolution is riding the coattails of healthified junk foods. Brands are prioritizing health and wellness, creating healthier sodas and sparkling beverages with less than 6 g sugar and added benefits like probiotics and adaptogens. If you’re someone who can’t cut out soda altogether from your diet, these options highlighted below are way more virtuous and dare we say even tastier.

    But before we dive into those, let’s be real for a minute: Obesity and diabetes are major health concerns in the U.S., and there’s no question our diet and lifestyle play major roles in both diseases. One major contributor is excessive caloric intake in the form of added sugars found in a lot of processed foods. From 2017 to 2018, the average intake of added sugars for adults aged 20 years and older was 17 teaspoons (68 g sugar), according to the CDC. Adults should limit their added sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons (24 g sugar) each day, per the American Heart Association.
    One major contributor of those added sugars in the diet are soft drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages. You shouldn’t be drinking majority of your calories anyway, so this is an easy way to dial in your nutrition.
    Jordan Mazur, M.S., R.D., is the director of nutrition for the San Francisco 49ers

    9 Healthier Sodas and Sparkling Beverages to Sip On
    Courtesy Image1. Olipop
    Olipop is a new-age fizzy tonic that boasts prebiotics, plant fiber, and botanicals that not only taste great but also help your digestive health. The best part is its lineup of flavors only contain between 2 to 5 g sugar and 45 calories per can.
    Get it

    Courtesy Image2. Poppi
    Poppi is a better-for-you prebiotic soda great for gut health and an extra immunity boost. Each can has real, clean ingredients and boasts fewer than 25 calories and 5 g sugar. All contain the brand’s star ingredient: pure, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. With classic and fruit flavors, and 90 percent less sugar than other sodas, Poppi can quench your thirst and then some.
    Get it

    Courtesy Image3. Wave Soda
    Wave is a new take on healthy soda—comprising 85 percent sparkling water, 15 percent fruit juice, and 42 mg natural caffeine. Each can has just 15 to 25 calories and 2 to 6 g sugar, depending on the flavor. They all have natural ingredients and are entirely void of added sugars and sweeteners.
    Get it

    Courtesy Image4. United Sodas of America
    United Sodas is a modern soda brand that tastes as good as it looks. It’s reminiscent of your favorite sparkling water due to its lightly carbonated fizz and low sugar, but comes in surprising flavors such as Blackberry Jam, Pear Elderflower, and Toasted Coconut. Each drink clocks in under 30 calories, contains no artificial ingredients, and is organically sweetened, making it the perfect alternative for health-conscious soda lovers.
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    Courtesy Image5. Kin Spritz
    Kin Spritz is a sparkling bev with ingredients intended to rouse your mind and invigorate energy levels. It’s crafted with fresh citrus, warm spice, hibiscus, ginger, and caffeine plus adaptogens like rhodiola rosea and nootropics like GABA, which work in tandem to get you through your morning or afternoon slump.
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    Courtesy Image6. Live Sodas
    Live Sodas are naturally sweetened with monk fruit and loaded with probiotics to help your waistline and gut health. Its lineup of five flavors are caffeine-free and contain zero added sugars or dyes.
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    Courtesy Image7. Corsa Co.
    Corsa may look retro, but it’s soda formulated for the 21st century. Botanicals sourced directly from farmers ensure high-quality flavors: Kola packs all the flavor of the West African nut plus citrus and spice. Its 5 g sugar is derived from beets. If you want lighter alternatives, opt for its floral and citrus Spritz or bitter and botanical Cays. They all have 350 mg hydrating minerals, so you get the added benefit of electrolytes.
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    Courtesy Image8. Culture Pop Sodas
    Culture Pop sodas are made with only organic juices, spices, and probiotics, making this soda functional, not just delicious. They have unique flavors like Orange Mango Chili & Lime, Wild Berries Basil & Lime, and Pink Grapefruit Ginger & Juniper.
    Get it

    Courtesy Image9. Recess
    This sparkling beverage helps calm the mind and lift your mood with a functional blend of magnesium, ginseng, L-theanine, lemon balm, and active B6. Made with natural ingredients and sweetened with real fruit, each can has 5g natural sugar and fewer than 20 calories. They also make a CBD-infused line if you’re looking for calm and clarity.
    Get it

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    Where to Buy Fresh Oysters Online That Ship Nationwide

    If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast, finding quality oysters locally these days isn’t hard to do. But for those in the inner, land-locked states, getting quality oysters can be more of a hassle. Or maybe you’re a true oyster fanatic and want to try out the offerings from the best shellfish from around coastal United States. Luckily, you can buy oysters online from chef-approved producers that ship nationwide. Here are some of our favorite places to buy oysters online, and might we suggest making this recipe for grilled oysters with spicy nduja butter. The Best Oyster Purveyors Across the Country That Ship Nationwide1. Rappahannock Oyster CompanyTaste the merroir (like terroir, but from the sea) of the Chesapeake Bay in flavor profiles from sweet to super briny. Order for a buck a shuck in quantities of 25–100, plus shipping.Learn More2. Fishers Island Oyster FarmRaised from spawn in the Long Island Sound, these firm, springy treats are also known for their perfect teardrop shape. Share a box of 100 for $125, including shipping to the Northeast.Learn More3. Murder Point OystersThese Alabama shuckers are the same species common to the East Coast, but the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters make them famously plump and buttery. Get a 100-oyster bag for $135, plus shipping.Learn More4. Hog Island Oyster Co.Farmed in Tomales Bay, the spot most associated with quality Pacific oysters on the California coast. Choose from four types, available in 60-oyster bags for $105-$125, plus shipping.Learn More5. Hama HamaGrown from wild Pacific larvae in Washington’s Hood Canal and Puget Sound. Go big with a party-ready 10-dozen bag of easy-shucking Blue Pool oysters for $180, including shipping.Learn MoreFor access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube! More