More and more studies have been supporting the concept of mindful eating when it comes to weight loss, weight control, and overall health. Here’s the 101 on this popular method that can help you develop healthier eating habits.
What’s Mindful Eating?
Eating mindfully involves an awareness of the foods you choose to eat, the environment you eat in and your hunger cues. Many folks don’t pay attention to their daily habits which may be leading to unhealthy eating (such as mindlessly munching in front of the TV). It’s common practice to take a bag of chips and relax in front of the TV for the evening. By the time the commercials hit, you’re wondering where all your chips went.
You really want to use all your senses when eating mindfully. Taste the food by savoring every bite, eat in a quiet environment or with pleasant conversation, smell the delicious flavors, and look at variety of colors (from fruits and veggies) that are on your plate.
Some mindful eating programs also incorporate meditation and gentle stretching. These techniques help decrease overall stress, which can help lower calorie intake if you like to eat when you’re stressed.
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Leisurely weekend breakfasts are all about spending time with family, not slaving away in the kitchen. Make brunch extra easy with a Krups 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker. It toasts up fluffy waffles in 4 minutes or less, and the non-stick interior makes for quick cleanup. Set up a whole-grain waffle bar, try Alton’s Sweet Potato Waffles or give Sunny’s Lemon and Walnut Waffles a whirl.
You can buy your own Krups 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, your favorite waffle topper. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, April 26 at 5 p.m. EST.
We’re giving away one Krups 4-Slice Belgian Waffle Maker to one randomly-selected commenter. You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate with you if you’re a winner.
You may only comment once to be considered and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 to win. For the first day of the giveaway, all entries (answers) must be entered between 10:00 a.m. EST on April 24 and 5 p.m. EST on April 27, 2013. Subject to full official rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of each prize: $49.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.
So tell us, what are your favorite waffle toppers?
Should you go for the sugar-filled soda or the one made with artificial stuff? Find out which is better to sip on when you’re in the mood for soda.
It’s filled with sugar and a ton of empty calories, but soda can be part of a healthy eating plan if it’s consumed rarely and as a special treat. However, studies have found that soda is one of the top sources of sugar in our diets. New York City has even tried to ban the sale of sugary beverages that are larger than 16 fluid ounces to help keep soda portions in check.
In addition to leading to weight gain, studies have found that folks who guzzle large amounts of soda tend to drink less milk and take in fewer nutrients like calcium. Furthermore, drinking large amounts of soda can be detrimental to your bones. Soda contains high amounts of phosphates, which can deplete the body’s calcium stores.
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Before I switched to a plant-based diet, I had never heard of nutritional yeast. Aside from it sounding like something you’d only find in a crunchy health food store, the name gives no indication to what it actually is or what it can be used for. It took some experimenting over the years, but I can now say nutritional yeast – oftentimes affectionately called “nooch” – is a staple in my kitchen.
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast sold in the form of flakes (that look a lot like fish food) or a yellow powder. It’s vegan and a complete source of protein, which makes it a staple in many vegans’ diets. It contains B-vitamins and is oftentimes fortified with vitamin B12, which is absent from plant foods unless its been added in as a supplement. For more information on nutritional yeast, this post on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen is very helpful. Read more »
Almonds are a great between-meal snack that both fills you up and provides a nutritional punch. One handful of nutrient-dense almonds gives you not only 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fiber, and 75 mg of calcium, but also 13 grams of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are the heart-healthy fats that may help lower total cholesterol and LDL (monounsaturated fats help raise HDL levels too), which can decrease the risk of heart disease.
A serving of almonds has 162 calories, 14 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and 6 grams of protein, and when snacking on almonds, portion control is key. One serving of almonds is 23 almonds, which equals 1 ounce, ¼ cup or about 1 handful. One portion should fit into a small spice bottle or baby food jar or – if you’re snacking at the office – should cover the surface of one 3″x3″ sticky note. Use the photo above to help you remember, or put old baby food jars or spice bottles to new use as almond snack-containers.
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Two Tarts is run by Dulcie Wilcox and Sarah Welle, two friends with a shared passion for cooking and photography. When you visit their blog, you’ll find beautiful seasonal recipes using local ingredients. While the Colorado natives are known to make almost everything from scratch, their recipes keep the everyday home cook in mind. They believe that when working with quality ingredients, simple is best. The duo also runs Colorado Crafted, an artisanal food business selling curated gift boxes filled with locally-made gourmet goods.
How long have you two been friends? How did the idea for the blog come up?
We met in 2010 at storytime at our local library! We both had toddlers that had just begun to walk, so initially it was the kids who brought us together (they are now three years old and best buddies). We are both foodies and big advocates for eating whole foods, and we had both dabbled in blogging. It just made sense to team up and create a better blog than either of us could do on our own. We often get asked if one of us takes the photos and one writes the content, but it is truly a team effort and often we don’t even know who was behind the lens for a particular shot.
Dulcie, which of Sarah’s recipes is your favorite? Sarah, same question.
Dulcie: One of my favorites is Sarah’s homemade harissa. When she suggested doing it, I didn’t even know what harissa was! And I was never a big fan of overly spicy foods. But each time I’ve made a batch, I’ve used it at nearly every meal until it is gone. So good.
Sarah: Dulcie introduced me to the oven-puffed pancake, which I’d never thought to make at home before. It looks so puffy and impressive and beautiful that I just assumed it’d be difficult to make at home – let alone as breakfast first thing in the morning. But it’s actually much more simple (and fast!) to make than traditional pancakes, and I make it ALL the time now. It’s definitely a new favorite at our house, thanks to Dulcie.
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Ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of spices spilling from your cupboard? It seems that whenever you need a particular seasoning—from cumin to cardamom and basil to bay leaf—it finds its way to the far back, leaving you sorting through scores of jars and bottles for that certain one.
When working with clients they often ask me how I know which herbs and spices work together and how to go about building flavor. This is no small task and something even the best chefs are constantly trying to master. I’ve put together this fun little guide to help you navigate the spice aisle and your cabinet so the next time you’re craving a certain cuisine or just looking to get creative with flavors you will have some guidelines.
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Freekeh (pronounced free-kah), is an ancient grain that’s had new-found popularity lately. If you haven’t seen it on supermarket shelves or on the menu at your favorite restaurant, be on the lookout; you will soon.
What is Freekeh?
In Arabic, the word freekeh means “to rub.” About 2,000 years ago, the grain was created by accident when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their young green wheat crop was set on fire. The villagers rubbed off the burnt outer layers and cooked up the grain, and thus freekeh was born. It has a crunchy, nutty taste, which has been described as a cross between brown rice and barley.
What Makes Freekeh So Healthy?
One half cup of cooked freekeh has about 130 calories, 1 gram of total fat and 8 grams of protein. It’s free of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. This ancient gem is an excellent source of manganese, providing 70% of your recommended daily amount. It’s also a good source of fiber (with 4 grams per ¼ cup dry), plus phosphorus and magnesium. Freekeh is a whole grain so adding it to your diet can help you meet the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines to make half your grains whole.
Freekeh is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two plant chemicals that have been shown to aid in eye health. This ancient grain also seems to work as a prebiotic, helping good bacteria flourish in the digestive tract.
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The chimichanga, or chimi as it’s affectionately termed in the Southwest, is a deep-fried burrito stuffed with meat, vegetables and spices. Once fried to perfection, chimichangas are often topped with cheese and served with a variety of condiments, such as green onions, diced tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream and black olives. Sounds delicious, right? It is delicious, but consider that one restaurant-style chimi has around 760 calories, 34 grams of fat and 1,930 mg of sodium. With that much sodium, you’re done for the day — you’ll have reached your daily max in sodium in only one meal. Store-bought frozen chimichangas fare slightly better, with around 300-500 calories, 25 grams of fat and 1,200 mg of sodium per serving. Filling aside, it’s the deep-frying that does most of the damage. Regular burritos have about 200-300 calories and 10-20 grams of fat each, but drop them into the deep-fryer and you can add 225 calories and 21 grams of fat to each burrito. Yes, the deep-fried, crunchy exterior is great, but not worth the health consequences, especially when a healthier version is so easy to make.
You can stuff flour tortillas with delicious ingredients and then bake the chimichangas in the oven for the same, amazing result. Try this recipe and let me know if you agree. Read more »
A couple of years ago I posted about eight sneaky foods vegetarians should avoid because they contain surprising animal-based ingredients. Since that list was not entirely exhaustive, I’ve come up with a part-two post to help you avoid those foods that may seem vegan or vegetarian, but in fact are not. Most of these foods are found in restaurants, so be sure to ask before ordering so you know what you’re getting.
Vegetable soup – I know what you’re thinking: “How could a vegetable soup have meat in it?!” While there may not be hunks of meat, I’ve come across vegetable soups in restaurants that are in fact made with chicken or beef broth. Unfortunately not all restaurants make this known unless you ask. If you spot a soup on the menu that seems to be entirely vegetable-based, it’s worth a quick question to your server or the chef to be sure. Read more »