The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Charity of the Month for March – Friends of Wayne Animals

EatSmart fans will select each Charity of the Month in 2012. Followers of EatSmart will submit short stories about their charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations last year and are continuing this worthwhile tradition.

For March 2012, loyal EatSmart employees, Dominic, Emma and Tux, have chosen the Friends of Wayne Animals. We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of March. (So spread the word and woofs!)  The Friends of Wayne Animals is a volunteer nonprofit located in Northern NJ.

They are dedicated to the welfare, sheltering and placement of homeless animals. They also help to educate the public about the humane treatment of animals, help prevent animal cruelty and promote animal welfare. If you would like to learn more about this local shelter, please visit their website.

The following is from the eyes of our furry friends…
For over 15,000 years, we worked hard to earn the distinction of being “man’s best friend.” We work side-by-side our human counterparts, around the clock, to help brighten their days and remind them to take exercise breaks.   Below are just a few of the many ways we help our human friends: 

  • Studies of people undergoing stress tests have demonstrated that the presence of a dog lowered their heart rate and blood pressure during testing.
  • The use of prescription drugs and the overall cost of caring for patients in nursing homes dropped in those facilities where companion animals became part of the therapy.
  • We can help humans relax and focus their attention away from their problems and worries.
  • We help decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing companionship.
  • Families surveyed before and after they acquired a pet reported feeling happier after adding a pet to the family.

Dominic and Emma can be found lounging around the EatSmart office and maintaining positive relationships with the postman, FedEx and UPS drivers.  Tux works remotely and can be found tweeting through Puppy Tweets as @lookatmytux.

 Story by Karen Welby, Marketing Director of EatSmart Products.  If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers.

Healthy Dessert Smoothie

To celebrate February’s National Heart Month, we’ve “gone red” and created this heart healthy dessert. Replace the cheesecake with this tasty fruit filled smoothie or drink as a  juice replacement at breakfast.

Ingredients:
7-10 Strawberries
7-10 Red Grapes
4 Teaspoons of Pomegranates **
1 serving of Greek Yogurt – I used vanilla flavored.
1/4 Cup of Almond Milk or Water

Directions:
Put all ingredients into a blender and mix until you reach desired texture. This only took about 30-45seconds in my Health Master Blender.

** Substitute the pomegranates for  7-10 raspberries, if you don’t have or like pomegranates.

To impress, always garnish with a piece of fresh fruit.  If you want to increase the nutritional value, throw in a handful of baby spinach.  (We will save this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day!)  I topped it off with homemade whipped cream.

About the Author: Karen Welby is the Marketing Director at EatSmart Products and a Personal Trainer/Health Coach.

Tips for Crocheting Newbies

Guest post by Lisa Woodruff from A Life Full of Laughter.

A little over a year ago, I taught myself to crochet.  Now, I love it  and actually prefer it to knitting.  It’s quicker, easier and more relaxing for me.  The learning, on the other hand, was slightly stressful!  I taught myself with the help of library books, websites and You Tube videos.  Oh, and lots & lots of practice!  If you are a newbie, or even just want to learn to crochet, I have a few tips for you. Before you know it you’ll be crazy about crochet just like I am!

1) RELAX!  This is most important!  Just relax and have fun…. crocheting is supposed to be a hobby!  You are just learning so you are bound to make mistakes, it’s okay.  As a matter of fact, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, no matter how long they’ve been crocheting.

2) Check out You Tube.  Just put in “crochet” or “learn to crochet” and you’ll be set for hours.  It helps to watch someone else do the various stitches & show you each step slowly.

3) Choose yarn in colors that you truly love for your first project.  If you enjoy the colors you will be more likely to continue picking up the project and getting more practice.

4) Don’t hold the yarn too tightly.  Just let it flow through your fingers.  The tension on your yarn will make a big difference in the outcome of your project.  Not to mention the fact that by holding so tightly to the yarn, you are clenching your body.  You’ll feel that tension in your shoulders and back.  Instead, just loosen your grip slightly and concentrate on taking your time.  This isn’t a race!

5) Enjoy the process and take pride in your accomplishments.  Learning something new is difficult.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  When I was teaching myself, I decided that I was going to repeat each step as long as I needed until I felt comfortable.  I did the starting chain over & over again.  Then I moved on to the foundation row.  Again, I repeated it over and over.  I did this throughout all the steps.  It was fun at the end to say that I’d actually taught myself and now I have a hobby that I really enjoy!

I’d like to mention, too, a great product that EatSmart sells that you can use in your crocheting journey.  This product is their Precision Pro Kitchen Scale.  I love to use this scale to weigh my yarn.  As you are working on your projects, you will begin to accumulate lots of small balls of yarn.  You still want to use them up but it can be difficult to know how much you have or how far they’ll go in your project.  If you use the Precision Pro Kitchen Scale you will know exactly.  When I’m working on a striped project, like my Granny Stripe Afghan, I can simply weigh the yarn before I start a new color.  Then, after I’ve crocheted the two rows I can weigh it again.  Once I subtract the two numbers I find out how much is needed for a color repeat.  From there, all I have to do is weigh the rest of my scrap balls to see if each one will complete a two row color repeat.  I love that I’m able to stretch my yarn stash and make it more useful!

In closing, I hope that you all take the leap into crocheting!  You’ll be glad you did because you’ll find a relaxing, useful hobby that you can take anywhere you go.  Just remember…..this is supposed to be fun!

About the Author: Lisa is happily married with one child, who left for college last fall, so she’s a new empty nesters. She runs the blog, A Life Full of Laughter.  She’d love for you to join her as she blogs about her love of quilting, knitting, gardening, reading, crocheting, pets, relationships, reviewing books & products, offering giveaways and life in general!

Healthy Recipe: Turkey Corn Chili

Guest Post by Jessica of  Running a Healthy Family.

Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1 small red onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
2 Tbs chili powder
28 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can tomato sauce
16 oz can kidney beans
15 oz can black beans
15 oz can corn

Directions:
Spray a large stock pot with with cooking spray and brown turkey over medium heat.
Add onion and pepper and cook 3-5 minutes (just until they start to soften).
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour.

* For an alternate cooking method, lightly brown the turkey and add all of the ingredients to a crock pot. Cook cook 6-8 hours on low.

Top with low fat sour cream or lite cheese. Other good toppers are black olives, salsa, shredded cilantro, or avocado.

Turkey can easily be removed or replaced with tofu for vegetarians.
Great served over brown rice for extra carbs.

About the Author: Jessica is a wife, stay at home mom, blogger, and runner. She believes in keeping my family healthy by leading by example and blogs at Running A Healthy Family.

5 Simple Tips for a Healthy and Happy Valentine’s Day

Share the gift of Health this Valentine’s Day with our 5 Simple Tips below.

Share your Love with a Healthy, Romantic Dinner for Two
Save money and calories by preparing a romantic meal at home. Set a lovely table, add some candles and spend time together preparing a healthy, delicious meal. Look for recipes that include several healthy ingredients like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and poultry, heart healthy oils like olive oil, whole grain breads and pastas and low fat dairy products. A favorite recipe from Eating Well magazine is Poached Salmon with Creamy Piccata Sauce, so scrumptious and easy to prepare.

Laughter is Good For Your Health
Laughing with others is more powerful than laughing alone and one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. Humor is a powerful way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. The physical and mental health benefits of sharing a laugh are many including relieves stress, boosts immunity and prevents heart disease, to name a few. So why not share a few chuckles with the ones you love on Valentine’s Day and all year long.

How about a Flowering Plant – A Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift
Cut flowers are beautiful but unfortunately have a short life. Why not consider buying a potted plant for your special someone. Not only do house plants add color to your home, but they’ve been shown to help fight colds by adding humidity to the home environment. They also serve as a long lasting reminder of the love you share with your sweetheart.

Encourage your Loved Ones to Stay Healthy in a Fun Way
Send Health e-cards for Valentines Day. These e-cards can be found on the CDC website and are a novel alternative to the traditional Valentine’s Day card. A health tip is planted amongst hearts, flowers and cupid and shows you care about your loved ones’ health.

Enjoy the Dark Chocolate
We can’t overlook the health benefits of eating chocolate, especially on Valentine’s Day. Dark Chocolate is good for your heart; a small bar everyday can reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause the damage that leads to heart disease. This is great news but does not mean that we should eat unlimited amounts of dark chocolate every day. Chocolate is still a high-calorie, high-fat food; the health benefits of dark chocolate are gained by eating 3.5 ounces per day, no more. (Easily measure 3.5 ounces with your Kitchen Scale!)

Story by: Maria Geronimo, Public Relations Director

Healthy Recipe: Taco Salad

Guest Post by Amanda Larson of Coping with Frugality.

Salads are generally thought of as a healthy meal option.  However, when you start adding toppings and dressing, they can easily end up containing just as much fat and calories as a Big Mac!!  By using your EatSmart Kitchen Scale to measure out your toppings, using fat free dressing options such as salsa, and adding high protein toppers like beans, you can have a filling salad that is also diet friendly.  Taco night has always been a tradition in my family.  I now have my family hooked on taco salad night by using this recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ½ Tbsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 8-10 cups spring mix lettuce
  • 10 oz. (approximately 2 cups or 1 can) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400 grams (approximately2 cups) salsa
  • 100 grams diced avocado
  • 28 grams (about 8 Tbsp.) reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: (Serves 4)
Heat a skillet over medium high heat and brown beef. Drain fat and return beef to pan. Add water and next 4 ingredients and combine. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

In individual bowls combine lettuce, beans, salsa, avocado, beef and salsa and toss to combine. Top with cheese and enjoy!

About the Author: Amanda Larson is the owner and author of Coping with Frugality. She’s a mom to a 20 month old daughter and a full time attorney who loves to blog about things that she’s passionate about. She loves to cook and tries her best to cook as healthy as possible with a beef and potato husband. Through her blog, she loves to teach that you can be green and eat organic without breaking the bank.

Think outside the box—PIZZA BOX that is!

The EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale’s claim to fame has always been its versatility, reliability, multitude of uses, all at a very affordable price.  Everyday tasks vary from weighing food, baking ingredients and yarn, to portioning out 100 calorie snacks  to calculating postage.

We were very pleased to hear of a DELIZIOSO use for the Precision Pro. Park Pizza, a family owned Park Ridge, NJ pizza parlor, has incorporated the scale into their daily pizza making process.

“Out of 20 scales I’ve had, the Eatsmart Precision Pro has been the best one yet!” says owner, Chuck Delconsole. “By using the scale to portion the dough to a predetermined weight, no dough goes to waste, which saves me a lot of money, important for any small business. Over the course of 5 days during the holiday season, we weighed about 400 dough balls. The scale gets a lot of use and still is holding up fine.”

For those who prefer to use a plate when weighing food, the Precision Pro comes with a TARE function that allows you to zero out the weight of the plate and/or to weigh multiple items in a row.  The scale has four units of measurement; grams, kilograms, ounces and pounds, that add to its versatility.

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Story by: Maria Geronimo, Public Relations Director and Joe Origoni, Marketing Assistant at EatSmart Products

We are sure that many of you have come up with unique uses for our EatSmart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale—Please join the Pizza party and share them with us!

Gluten Free Recipe: Steamed Shrimp and Vegetables

Guest Post by Jenny Manseau, Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten Free.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Pound Medium Shrimp (raw/cleaned and deveined)
  • 2 Tablespoons light gluten-free soy sauce (San-J)
  • 1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Oil
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove – grated
  • 1/2 Inch piece of Ginger – grated
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Large bunch of Bok Choy – Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Water Chestnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Bamboo Shoots
  • 1/2 Cup Snow Peas

Directions:
Grate the ginger and garlic with the V-etched Better Zester. In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, garlic, ginger, sugar and vinegar. Add shrimp to a separate bowl and poor 1/3 of the mixture over the shrimp, toss to coat well and set aside.

Fill the Farm Fresh Steamer with about 1 1/2 quarts of water (or stock…slightly more flavor if you use stock with aromatics in them like crushed garlic and ginger pieces – this is what I normally do), and heat over medium-low heat.

Once the steam starts to build up in the pan, add the bok choy, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and cook for 2-3 minutes (these take a little longer than the shrimp). Add the Shrimp, carrots, and snow peas, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until shrimp is cooked throughout. Do not over cook the shrimp.

Toss with remaining sauce and serve over steamed rice. Top with a little chili paste if you like a bit more heat (we love spice so it is usually added).

Don’t miss this!  Creative Cooking Gluten Free is hosting a giveaway to win a Le Creuset Farm Fresh Streamer Set and a EdgeWare V-etched Better Zester!

About the Author: Jenny Manseau is a Culinary Arts/Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten Free. Jenny created her website after being diagnosed in 2008 with Celiac Disease and takes many “regular” every day recipes and alters them to the gluten-free diet.

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