The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Ginger Chicken with Sauteed Vegetables and Buckwheat Noodles (Gluten Free)

Guest Post by Shannon Wallace, Certified Holistic Health Coach at Nourished Body Nurtured Soul.
Ingredients
1 lb Chicken Breast
1 eight ounce package 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles
2-4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 inch Ginger, peeled and grated/minced
1 Head Broccoli, cut into small florets
1 Red Pepper, sliced thin
2 Carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1-2 cups Kale, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
Sea Salt

Directions
Cook noodles according to directions on package.
Pre-cut all vegetables.
Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium to med-high heat.
Add chicken and ginger and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until partially cooked, no pink remaining on outside.
Remove chicken from pan, place in a dish and cover to retain heat.
Add more coconut oil to pan if needed and saute Kale and the rest of the vegetables, with a pinch of salt, until desired tenderness. ( I like mine cooked but still a bit crunchy)
Return the chicken to the pan and toss with vegetables for a couple minutes to finish cooking it.
Combine the cooked noodles with the chicken and vegetables and serve.

About the Author: Shannon’s passion for healthy living was born out of a desire to heal herself from the debilitating Autoimmune Condition, Rheumatoid Arthritis. As a Health Coach, she works with her clients by supporting them to find their path, commit to the journey and reclaim their health. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

The Benefits of Eating Healthy during Pregnancy

Guest post by Dana Vicktor, senior researcher and writer for duedatecalculator.org.

You know that it’s important to eat healthy to reduce the incidence of disease and to promote longevity. In pregnancy, it is even more important to eat healthy as you are now eating for two. Your growing baby is vulnerable to toxins, and he or she needs all the nutrients you can provide to grow into a strong and healthy baby.

There are a number of benefits for both you and your baby to eating healthy during pregnancy. Here are just a few of them:

Reduces Pregnancy Complications
Women are vulnerable to a number of complications during pregnancy, including high blood pressure and gestational diabetes. Eating well can keep your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and weight at healthy levels to reduce the incidence of such complications.

Eating healthy foods can also help prevent or treat common pregnancy maladies, such as morning sickness and leg cramps. Ensuring that your diet is full of lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can help lessen or prevent these symptoms.

Reduces Incidence of Birth Defects
Exposure to certain chemicals or a deficit in certain nutrients can lead to birth defects in your baby. For example, artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been linked to a higher incidence of birth defects such as neurological impairments and development delays. Also, the lack of key nutrients such as folic acid has been linked to higher rates of birth defects such as spina bifida.

It is important to eat natural, unprocessed foods as much as possible during pregnancy to avoid harmful substances. It is also critical to take a good prenatal vitamin to ensure adequate intake of key nutrients such as folic acid and iron.

Ensures a Healthy Weight for Your Baby
Babies with a low birth weight suffer more health problems and potentially serious complications than babies born at a healthy weight. A low birth weight can set babies up for a lifetime of health complications or disabilities.

Ensure that you are eating nutritious foods and adequate calories to promote healthy weight gain in your baby. You should be eating at least 300 more calories per day during pregnancy, most or all of which should come from nutritious foods like vegetables and whole grains.

Sets the Stage for Good Health
What you eat while you’re pregnant can influence your baby’s development and what he or she eats later in life. If you eat poorly, not only will your baby develop a taste for foods that are low in nutrition, but he or she will also have a greater risk for developing obesity and serious diseases like diabetes.

However, if you eat a nutritious diet during pregnancy, you promote healthy development in your baby that will stay with him or her throughout life. You will also be encouraging your baby’s own healthy eating habits.

Helps You Lose Weight Faster
Most women are keen to lose their extra pregnancy weight as quickly as possible. Eating nutritiously throughout your pregnancy not only makes it more likely that you will gain a healthy amount of weight, but also makes it easier for you to shed that weight after pregnancy. Eating well during pregnancy sets up healthy habits that you can continue after your baby is born, making it easier for you to eat well and to maintain a healthy weight. You’ll also be a positive role model for your baby to teach healthy habits!

Eating a healthy diet is especially important during pregnancy. Everything you eat has an impact on your baby’s growth and development, as well as your own health. Eating well can ensure that your baby grows and develops properly, and that you experience fewer complications from pregnancy.

About the Author: Dana Vicktor is the senior researcher and writer for duedatecalculator.org. Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in communications and sociology. Her current focus for the site involves  the pregnancy calendar week by week and pregnancy signs.

Thanking our Troops with an EatSmart Giveaway

What better way to celebrate Independence Day, then to show our appreciation of our service men and women with an EatSmart Giveaway.  Our troops strive to be in top shape in order to serve their country to the best of their ability and to keep themselves out of harms way.  To this point,  we will be giving away FIVE EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scales to lucky winners from all branches of the military.

Do you have a friend or family member serving in the military that you think would enjoy winning a GetFit Scale?  Go ahead and enter them in the contest and they may be one of the five lucky winners!

Entering the contest is easy— Simply fill out the form below: (5 entries possible)

  • Fill in your name. (1 Entry)
  • Fill in your email. (1 Entry)
  • Name of Service Man or Woman/ Branch of military service / Why you nominated them. (1 Entry) Bonus: We will feature the most unique responses in our special Independence Day Blog Post in July.
  • Like this blog post. (1 Optional Entry)
  • Tweet about this Giveaway. (1 Optional Entry)

Giveaway ends on Tuesday, July 10 at noon EST. The lucky winners will be selected at random and the EatSmart fans who nominated them will be notified by email. They will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. (Sorry, but contest is limited to US residents only!)

Warm Potato & Edamame Salad

Warm Potato and Edamame Salad

Guest Post by Heather Till, Certified Holistic Health & Wellness Coach.

A simple potato salad gets a fresh, protein-packed twist from frozen shelled edamame (soybeans). If you’re not a cabbage fan, substitute 2 cups fresh baby spinach—just stir the leaves in at the same time you add the tomatoes. Serves 4 in 30 minutes or fewer!

 

Ingredients
  • 1 12-oz. pkg. frozen shelled edamame
  • ¼ head napa cabbage, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 16 small red, purple, fingerling, or new potatoes, halved (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 4 cups baby greens

Directions

  1. Bring pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch edamame 3 minutes in boiling water, then transfer to medium bowl with strainer or slotted spoon. Blanch cabbage in same pot of boiling water 1 minute, and place in same bowl.
  2. Drop potatoes in boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and add to edamame mixture. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and toss with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place greens in serving bowls, and mound potato salad on top.

About the Author: Heather Till is a certified Health & Wellness Coach and owner of her own health coaching practice, Finding Wellness. She specializes in holistic transformations from the inside-out and works with clients who want to improve their health mind, body and spirit.

The Presidents and the Battle of the Bulge

A 2010 Harvard study suggests that the more obese friends you have, the more likely you are to become obese. This confirms previous research that gaining weight may be socially contagious. If nothing changes significantly in the environment and culture in the USA, about 42% of adults will be obese in about 40 years.

Good friends Bill Geronimo, President of EatSmart Products and Gary Parisi, President of ToiletTree Products, were both carrying some extra pounds around the middle and were well aware of the associated health risks. Concerned with each other’s long term well-being, they agreed to a weight loss contest— the challenge being to lose 10 lbs in 2 months and keep it off for one year.  A big motivator was the large $$ bet each had to ante up at the beginning of the contest—the cash going to the winner.

After two months (June 18th, 2012), we are happy to report that both Gary and Bill have each lost 12 lbs and are looking svelte.  HOW DID THEY DO IT? Nothing radical- they lost the weight by modifying their diets to include lots of vegetables and fruits, less carbohydrates, smaller portions and increased exercise on a daily basis.

We will have to check back in one year to see if they were able to maintain their weight loss.  Best case scenario, both have maintained their weight loss – resulting in both Presidents getting to keep their money prize and…. everybody WINNING!

To all our EatSmart fans…….
In the above After picture, Bill is holding our newest bathroom scale, the EatSmart Precision Tracker! They used this scale to track their progress through out the competition. We are very excited about this new scale, which is on schedule to debut in Fall 2012.  Stay tuned for more details…

Note: The Before pictures were enhanced!

How to Make French Macarons

Guest post by Jackie Bruchez, owner of the blog, The Seaside Baker.

French Macarons have become the new “cupcake”. Although Macaron exclusive boutiques have existed since the 18th century in France, it is not until recently that they have begun popping up in the United States.

Although temperamental, these delicacies are rather easy to make, especially with the EatSmart Scale. Precise weight measurement is an absolute for this recipe, and the EatSmart Digital Kitchen Scale makes this recipe turn out perfect!

To begin, it is best to age your egg whites for 24-48 hours (stick them in a bowl loosely covered) or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

The recipe calls for approximately 3 egg whites. In weight, that is between 90 and 92 grams.

Next you want to weigh your almond flour. You need 110 grams of almond flour. Next, tare your scale and add 200 grams of confectioner’s sugar.

You then want to break it all up by pulsing the flour mixture in a food processor a few times.

After that is done, pour your egg whites and 2 tablespoons of sugar into your mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. If you would like to add color, add about 1/8 of a teaspoon at this point. Turn your mixer on high and beat until the egg whites form a stiff peak, approximately 1 ½ minutes, but be careful not to over beat.

Pour your flour mixture into the egg whites and give it a few swift mixes, then fold the rest of the mixture together.

Fit your pastry bag with a round tip (Ateco #807 or #809). I put the pastry bag into a tall cup and fold the sides over. It makes it easier to fill.

Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. This enables the shell to harden and will create the “foot” while baking.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees or 280 degrees for a conventional oven. Bake for 18 -20 min, and rotate the pan halfway through the baking process.  Allow to thoroughly cool before removing from the pan and filling.

You can fill these with buttercream, nutella, lemon curd, or whatever your heart desires!

French Macarons

  • 90 gr egg whites (roughly 3 egg whites)
  • 25 gr to 50gr (2 Tb to 1/4 cup) granulated sugar (I generally only use 25 gr)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 gr ( 1.5 cups + 2Tb) powdered sugar
  • 110 ground almonds ( 3/4 cup) or almond flour (my preference)

Pulse your almond flour and powdered sugar in the food processor a few times. This really breaks up the powdered sugar and makes for a smooth shell.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Put your egg whites and gel food coloring (I usually do 2 knife tips worth of food coloring) and beat on medium until it is foamy. Turn your mixer on low and gradually add the sugar and extract. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on high until hard peaks form…but do not overbeat!!!

Fold in your almond flour/powder sugar mix into the egg whites gently, until completely mixed (but not more than 50 strokes).

Fit your pastry bag with a round tip (Ateco #807 or #809). I put the pastry bag into a tall cup and fold the sides over. It makes it easier to fill.

Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. This enables the shell to harden and will create the “foot” while baking.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees or 280 degrees for a conventional oven. Bake for 18 -20 min, however you need to rotate the pan halfway through the baking process.  Allow to thoroughly cool before filling.

Buttercream Filling

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Beat butter and extract for 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and milk or cream. Beat with whisk attachment for 3 minutes on high.

About the Author: Jackie is a mother of three and a full time student at San Diego State University. She loves to travel, bake, and shop, although her Swiss husband tries to deter the later passion. She comes from a large Italian family where the basis of every conversation is food.
 

Special Time Spent with Dad

To celebrate Father’s Day, we asked our fans to share special ways they’ve spent the day with Dad. Stories can be from past or present.

We received many responses, the best of which we wanted to share with you. Perhaps, some of these stories will bring back fond memories from your childhood or maybe inspire you and Dad to start something new together.

From our Fans
I generally takes my father out but this time i have decided to make it more special and unique. I have written a special poem specially for the most important man in my life and i am going to sing it in front of him in the restaurant. – Neelam Rajaharia

He gets breakfast in bed. We eat and watch TV together. We have a party for him with the kids in the back yard. Time for eating and playing. Swimming, grilling and playing ball. Just good fun with the kids and grandkids. – Barbara Platt

I always get him a Charleston chew candy bar and Coke to remind him of the Sunday afternoons we would spend together after church watching Solid Gold and enjoying this, his favorite treat. I also have him over for a home cooked meal and just hang out with him on his special day. – Amy Lammers

I always make brunch at our home for all the Dad’s and Grandpa’s in the family. The kids love decorating their chairs and making them personalized place mats with their drawings on construction paper.  – Christina Graham

We used to gift him with the tackiest tie. But we never bought the tie, it was something we had made. Then we made him wear it to church. I know my daddy was a good man, because he never once complained about wearing it and always showed it off with pride! – January Bennett

My Father and i spend the day fishing together and catching up and in the evening a BBQ with the family. :)  – Mike McGee

My Dad and I have always enjoyed having pancakes for dinner on Father’s Day. It started when I was 7 and wanted to make him something special for dinner…of course the only thing I was allowed to make were pancakes on the griddle. It’s a tradition that’s stuck around…. – Linda

My Dad and I may go see a theater production for father’s day. We are both in theater and enjoy seeing it when we aren’t currently involved in a production. – Shane Russell

We love to go for drives and look for animals. – Megan McKean

Have a Happy Father’s Day!
Please share any fun things you’re doing with Dad this year.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Makeover

Here is a healthier version of one of my favorites – Spinach Artichoke Dip. This recipe cuts down on the cheese but keeps the creamy taste by using white beans. (And you get some added protein from the beans!)  My only critique is that next time, I will puree the beans.  It tastes great but the textures of the spinach, artichokes and beans make it on the chunky side.


Ingredients

  • 3 big handfuls of baby spinach (more/less depending on how much you like spinach) or 1 package of frozen spinach
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts (quartered)
  • 125 grams of Mozzarella cheese (a little over 1 cup)
  • 30 grams of Parmesan cheese (6 tbsp)
  • 3/4 can white Cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 13 grams of milled flax seed (2 tbsp) Optional 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.
On Stovetop – Boil 2 cups of water – Throw in spinach – Let it shrink up and get soft. (About 5minutes)
In mixing bowl – add spinach, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, Parmesan and beans. This is where I would puree the beans before adding to the mixture.
Mix together and add in garlic powder, flax seed and salt and pepper.
Put in baking dish. (I used a medium sized Pyrex)
Bake for 15-20minutes. (until golden brown on top)
Serve with whole wheat pita chips.

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

The Ban and the Big Gulp

I found the uproar that followed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s announcement last week very interesting as he proposed a municipal ban on the sale of sodas and other sugary drinks that are larger than 16 fluid ounces in New York City restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas, delis and street carts. Reactions to the announcement ranged from those who congratulated the mayor on his campaign to combat rising obesity to those who view the proposed ban as a huge infringement on their rights.

In spite of the ongoing debate over the proposed ban, I think that we all can agree on the fact that portions have increased over time and are a major contributing factor to the obesity problem in the United States.  A 2003 article on expanding portion sizes in the US, published in the Journal The American Dietetic Association, states that most marketplace portions exceed standard serving sizes by at least a factor of 2 and sometimes 8-fold.  Serving sizes at fast-food chains are often 2 to 5 times larger than the original size.

For me personally, portion control has always been a problem. Overall, I am eating foods that are good for me—just too much of them.  A better understanding of what constitutes a standard serving size (USDA) would be beneficial to me and probably the vast majority of people, the goal being to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Sources I find useful in my pursuit of a better understanding of standard serving sizes include MyPlate.gov, which provides Americans with a relatively simple message – fill your plate with a little more than ¼ vegetables, a little less than ¼ fruit, ¼ grains (make at least half of them “whole”), and ¼ lean protein. Top it off with a glass of 1% or non-fat milk and you’re good to go. LIVESTRONG.COM weighs in with an informative article entitled “USDA Recommended Serving Sizes” and the American Institute for Cancer Research provides a Serving Size Finder. These sites are all helpful in understanding how much we should be eating from the different food groups.

Using this information in conjunction with our EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale and FREE Calorie Factor Book, I am able to accurately count calories and eliminate most of the guesswork regarding correct serving size and portion control.

Regarding the brouhaha over the proposed ban, my feelings are more in line with Jeff Halevy, “I’d love to see the Big Gulp yanked — not due to legislation, but due rather to poor sales from a healthy, educated consumer”.

What’s your opinion? Please share in the comments below!

About the Author: Maria Geronimo is the Public Relations Director at EatSmart Products.

Celebrate Father’s Day with a Gadget Giveaway for 2

Father’s Day is coming – doesn’t Dad deserve something special, on this day of all days?

After our overwhelming response from our Mother’s Day celebration giveaway, EatSmart would like to honor all Dad’s by giving away TWO EatSmart Premium Digital Bathroom Scales – one for you and one for Dad! Good health is the greatest gift we can give to those most important in our lives—Dad being right up there at the top of the list.

Entering the contest is easy, and can be done through the form below. Here is how you can win: (5 entries possible)

  • Fill in your name. (1 Entry)
  • Fill in your email. (1 Entry)
  • What are some UNIQUE ways that you enjoy the day with Dad and celebrate the wonderful Father that you have in your life? (1 Entry) Bonus: We will feature the most unique responses in our special Father’s Day Blog Post on June 12th.
  • Like this blog post. (1 Optional Entry)
  • Sign up for the EatSmart Newsletter  at http://www.eatsmartproducts.com. (1 Optional Entry)

Giveaway ends on Monday, June 11th at 12 noon EST. The lucky winner will be selected at random and notified by email. They will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. (Sorry, but it’s limited to US residents only!)

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