Make Your Own Energy Drink!

by in Healthy Recipes, August 19, 2013

homemade energy drink
Most bottles and cans of energy drinks are nothing but sugar water plus lots of supplemental vitamins and minerals. The beverages are also loaded with herbal stimulants and caffeine. The safety of many of the herbal ingredients is questionable, and while caffeine may provide a temporary boost, it won’t give you energy (only calories can do that).

But here’s a homemade energy drink anyone can feel good about sipping.

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The Veggie Table: 3 Ways to Dig Into Quinoa

by in The Veggie Table, August 17, 2013

herbed quinoa

Cooking quinoa (which is considered a whole grain even though it’s actually a seed) is as simple as cooking brown rice, using two parts water to one part quinoa. An important step in the cooking process is to rinse the dry quinoa before cooking to help remove the coating of bitter-tasting saponins. Once cooked, quinoa can be used in a variety of recipes and interchanged with any whole grain. And because quinoa is naturally gluten-free, it is a great pasta substitute for those who cannot tolerate wheat.

There are three kinds of quinoa you’ll find at your grocery store: red, black and white, and all have a slightly nutty flavor and a texture much like couscous. Here are three of my favorite ways to enjoy quinoa.

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6 Snacks That Are Healthier Than They Seem

by in Healthy Tips, August 16, 2013

popcorn

Some snacks have a bad reputation for being unhealthy—but I’m setting the record straight on these six foods.

#1: Popcorn
Popcorn originally gained a bad reputation thanks to movie theaters frying popcorn in coconut oil and folks drowning it under buckets of artery-clogging butter. But corn is a whole grain and, when air-popped, it contains about 30 calories per cup along with 5% of the recommended daily dose of fiber. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt or a drizzle of olive oil, and you’ve got a smart snack. (For added flavor, try Ellie’s Parmesan-Paprika Popcorn, above, from Food Network Magazine.)

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5 Ways to Wow with Watermelon

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, August 15, 2013

watermelon gazpacho
Got an endless supply of this quintessential summer fruit? Here are some refreshing new ways to use it up.

#1: Make Real Sorbet
Most watermelon sorbets have no actual watermelon in sight! The real deal couldn’t be easier to make.

Recipe: Tropical Watermelon Sorbet

#2: Add to Salsa
Add a fresh and juicy crunch to a savory salsa and serve with fish or chicken.

Recipe: Fish Tacos with Watermelon Salsa

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4 Steps to Healthier Zucchini Bread

by in Healthy Recipes, August 14, 2013

zucchini bread

What’s the secret to trimmed-down zucchini bread? This recipe from Food Network Kitchens features several smart tweaks to create a lighter loaf:

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Win This Water Bottle!

by in Giveaway, August 14, 2013

Tervis Water Bottle

Just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean your workout plan should do the same. Whether you like to run, are an avid CrossFit junkie or a yoga buff, staying hydrated during workouts is important. Tervis‘ 24 oz. water bottles come in dozens of different stylish designs, are dishwasher-safe and are made in the United States. The double-insulated walls keep drinks cold (research has shown that people will drink more water, and enjoy it, when it’s cold). And the company’s unconditional lifetime guarantee is a bonus.

You can buy your own Tervis water bottle or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, your favorite way to get moving. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, August 16 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away one Tervis water bottle each to five randomly-selected commenters. 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 August 14 and 5 p.m. EST on August 16, 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: $20. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what’s your favorite way to get moving?

Fish Sticks: A Healthier Catch

by in Robin's Healthy Take, August 13, 2013

fish sticks

Although fish sticks can be a great way to introduce kids (and other picky eaters) to seafood, they’re basically breaded, fried, bland-tasting finger food. Yes, the omega-3 fatty acids are a terrific addition to the meal, but the 17 grams of fat per serving (3.5 ounces) isn’t. Instead of raiding the freezer, whip up a healthier version in a snap.

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One Small Change: A Powerhouse Pairing

by in Healthy Tips, August 13, 2013

eggplant and tofu
Imagine some classic food pairings: wine and cheese, fruit and nuts, steak and potatoes … iron and vitamin C? For a variety of people, including vegans and endurance athletes, getting enough iron can be a challenge. Even minor levels of iron deficiency can lead to impaired endurance, as well as fatigue, loss of concentration and decreased immune function. While animal-based sources of iron (red meat, poultry, egg yolks and shellfish) tend to be better absorbed than plant-based sources (dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, tofu, some grains and even spices), there are other factors that can improve or inhibit iron absorption.

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Tips for Homemade Dressings

by in Robin's Healthy Take, August 12, 2013

grilled chicken salad with gazpacho dressing

It’s easy to make salad dressings that are full of flavor, not calories. Here are some tricks for homemade versions.

1. Add citrus juice, citrus zest and fresh herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano, or thyme) for a burst of flavor and color.

2. Replace all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil in a recipe with reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth.

3. Use a blender: The ingredients come together faster and easier. (Try Food Network Magazine’s Grilled Chicken Salad with Gazpacho Dressing, above.)

4. For variety, use cider vinegar, sherry vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.

5. Add chopped shallots for nuance that’s more subtle than garlic or onion.

6. Bind ingredients together with 1 to 2 tablespoons honey mustard, Dijon mustard or grainy mustard.

7. Use reduced-fat sour cream for creamier dressings, as in this blue-cheese version from Food Network Magazine.