Mint Green Tea Spritzer

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, March 17, 2013

green tea spritzer
For a refreshing and festive non-alcoholic St. Paddy’s day beverage, try this cooling mint green tea spritzer. Green tea is full of good-for-you antioxidants and the revitalizing fresh mint leaves provide drinkable stress relief. Plain seltzer water makes this drink super fun and bubbly. No table sugar here – honey acts as a natural sweetener. Serve these drinks spruced up with some fresh lemon wedges on the side of the glass.

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Kid-Friendly Breakfast Ideas

by in Grocery Shopping, Healthy Recipes, Kid-Friendly, March 16, 2013

breakfast bars
I make quick, easy and kid-friendly breakfast every day for my 3 kids. If you’re not a believer that you can make breakfast happen in a flash, try any of my tips to make it happen.

Food Groups Matter
It’s not just about throwing together easy foods, but making sure your little ones gets the nutrients they need from a variety of food groups. As a rule of thumb, I make sure at least 3 food groups are represented in any of my kid’s breakfasts. Choose from dairy, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean protein. The more food groups you can include, the better.

Quick Recipe Ideas
Simple, no-fuss recipes you can throw together in less than 10 minutes.

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Fresh Mint Shake

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Recipes, March 15, 2013

mint shake
A Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s will cost you some serious calories and fat. A 12-fluid ounce portion (the smallest size) has a whopping 530 calories and 15 grams of fat, not to mention all the highly-processed sweeteners and artificial colors. Try this fresher and lighter version instead. Bonus: you can make it all year long; the fast-food version is only available for a few weeks around St. Patrick’s Day.

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Beer Brussels Sprouts

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, March 15, 2013

brussels sprouts
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, what comes to mind? The color green? Beer? Leprechauns? Well, this recipe has St. Paddy’s Day written all over it. These Brussels sprouts are doused in beer to give them a savory, hoppy taste (made with gluten-free beer so if you have a gluten sensitivity you can still enjoy them). I love roasting and steaming veggies to get food on the table fast, but I decided to create this recipe on the stovetop. You can also toss all of the ingredients into a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F if you prefer to roast them. There are only 5 pantry staples in this recipe so you’ll have these sprouts on the table with minimal effort.

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Food Fight: Sweet Potatoes vs. White Potatoes

by in Food Fight, March 15, 2013

potatoes
Any carb-o-phobe will tell you to choose sweet potatoes over white ones, but is that sound nutrition advice? We’ve put these tubers head-to-head; find out which comes out on top.

Sweet Potato
A medium-sized baked sweet potato has 102 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and no fat or cholesterol. It’s also rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and contains a small amount of vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are also loaded with potassium and vitamin B6.

Baked, roasted, mashed, added to chili or pureed into soup – adding sweet potatoes to your meals can help you stay satisfied and provide you with a hefty dose of nutrients.

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5-Ingredients: Pear Chutney

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, March 14, 2013

pear
Sweet, a little sour, and oh-so-delish! A spoonful of homemade chutney will jazz up chicken, pork or a platter of cheese and crackers. Mix with mayo and curry powder for a one-of-a-kind spread on a turkey sandwich. Grab a pile of fresh pears and make this recipe ASAP.

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Have You Tried: Grapeseed Oil?

by in Have You Tried, March 13, 2013

grapeseed oil
Have you been missing out on this healthy fat? One try and this oil will quickly become a pantry staple.

What is Grapeseed Oil?
Made from the same grapes used for wine making, grapeseed oil is extracted from the tiny inner seeds. Commonly imported from countries like France and Switzerland, this light and fresh oil is becoming more widely available in the United States.

Its clean and mild flavor makes it a better choice in dishes where you don’t want the flavor of the oil to compete with the other ingredients.

Grapeseed also has an extremely high smoke point, making it ideal for high cooking temps in cooking techniques like stir frying, sautéing, baking and frying,

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Win This Cookbook!

by in Giveaway, March 13, 2013

Sodium Girl Cookbook

After overcoming a life-changing medical diagnosis, Jessica Goldman, aka Sodium Girl, decided she wanted to find a way to still enjoy all of her favorite foods even while on a restricted died. Nine years later, she’s still going strong thanks to salt-free cooking and eating. And Jessica wants to impart her knowledge to you in the new Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook, where bloody marys, buffalo wings and other normally high-salt foods are revamped, so you don’t have to miss out on the great taste of your favorite dishes.

You can buy your own Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook or enter in the comments for a chance to win one. Just let us know, in the comments, what dish you’d love to try sodium-free. The contest starts at 10:00 a.m. EST today, and ends on Friday, March 15 at 5 p.m. EST.

We’re giving away a copy of Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook, to two 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 March 13 and 5 p.m. EST on March 15, 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: $24.99. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a Food Network, 9721 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

So tell us, what dish would you love to try sodium-free?

7 Signs You’re Getting Bad Nutrition Advice

by in Diets & Weight Loss, March 12, 2013

nutirition advice
There’s tons of nutrition information swirling around and oftentimes you’re left wondering what or who you should believe. Here are 7 signs that you’re receiving bad (and sometimes even dangerous) nutrition advice.

#1: Lack of Significant Research
Nutrition advice should be based on significant scientific research that was conducted in peer-reviewed journals over months or even better, years. The majority of the research will back up a specific theory with a few straggler studies that may point at the other side. If you’re being quoted a study, be sure what you are being told reflects all the research in that area. In addition, ask who sponsored the research as sponsored studies may be one sided. Oftentimes, this will raise a big red flag if someone hasn’t done their homework.

#2: Lots of Persuasive Anecdotes
You may find a diet or a diet expert with tons of followers who all swear that the diet plan or advice is THE BEST they ever followed. These folks will tell you how they lost hundreds of pounds—and that you will too.

Although it may sound like you MUST try it, it’s important to remember that every person is different and has individualized needs. Some diets or advice may be not be safe for folks on certain medications or with certain diseases (like Parkinson’s or diabetes), so you need to check with your doctor before trying anything new. It’s also important to make sure the science is also there to back the advice up — just relying on anecdotes just isn’t enough.

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Mini Green Pizzas

by in Gluten-Free, Healthy Recipes, March 11, 2013

Mini 'Green' Pizzas

Looking for an easy weeknight meal or weekend lunch? Whip up these mini green pizzas topped with spinach and pesto to pack on the fiber and flavor. For a unique spin on your regular pizza pie, this recipe uses ricotta cheese instead of mozzarella, and has gourmet toppings like baby spinach, pesto and sesame seeds. No need to wait for the dough to rise — I’ve subbed the dough for toasted gluten-free bread instead.

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