The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Celebration Giveaway – Win a New Tracker Bathroom Scale

To celebrate breaking 8,000 followers on Twitter, one lucky fan will win a brand new EatSmart Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale! The EatSmart Precision Tracker is an essential tool in weight management – giving users the ability to track their weight over time.

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Entering the contest is extremely easy, and can be done through the form below. To enter, simply complete the form below and click on the submit button. Good luck!

Giveaway ends on Sunday, November 11th at noon EST. The lucky winners 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!)

Easy Southwestern Turkey Meatballs (Gluten Free)

Guest post by Barbara, owner of the blog, The Bold Blend.

These spicy meatballs are wonderful dipped in a bit of salsa. Perfect as an appetizer.

This recipe makes approximately 14 to 16 meatballs.

Ingredients:
1.2 lb package of ground turkey meat
1 egg
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoon of coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of parsley or cilantro
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients well. Form mixture into 1.5″ balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake the meatballs at 350 F for 20 minutes* or until cooked through. Serve immediately.

*Note: Our new house has a snazzy oven that cooks a lot faster than the 35 year old model in our old house. If your oven was installed during the Reagan administration, expect a slightly longer cook time.

About the Author: Barbara Davis is a wife and mother of 2 children, hopeless coffee addict, and a freelance writer. She blogs about weight loss, cooking, family, and whatever else pops into her near 40 year old head. For more great recipes, check out her blog, The Bold Blend.

Top Reasons to Make Your Own Orange Juice

If you’ve ever had a glass of fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, then you know that the stuff you buy in a carton, a bottle, or (shudder) a can tastes almost nothing like it. There is simply no comparison. Why?

Say you’ve got a thirst for some OJ. You pop out to the store and pick out the best quality stuff you can find. It’s 100% all natural fruit juice, not from concentrate, with no added sugars or any additional ingredients. Sounds healthy, right? Compared to orange “drinks” with added colors and flavors, it’s a good choice. However, even the highest quality container of juice has been processed in some way, then packaged, then shipped. Each step away from the orange itself strips the juice of some of its nutrients and enzymes.

In the United States, 98% of all fruit juices are pasteurized or otherwise treated to kill potential pathogens. In the rare instance when you can find completely raw juice in the market, the bottle will have an ominous warning label stating that the juice may contain bacteria that can make you seriously sick.

That may well be true, but that’s because a bottle, or a carton, is not as good a vehicle for transporting orange juice as, say, an orange. The minute an orange is squeezed, the juice comes into contact with the air, with possibly contaminated factory equipment, unsterile surfaces, improperly sealed containers — you name it. The longer that juice is parted from the cellulose structure that protected it inside the fruit, the greater the odds that something will contaminate it. That’s why the argument for pasteurization is a pretty strong one.

The problem with pasteurization is that it depletes the vitamins and enzymes in the juice, according to many studies (though others argue against this.) Many manufacturers add vitamin C back into their orange juice to help compensate. Do you see ascorbic acid on the label? That’s vitamin C.

Leaving aside the pasteurization debate (which will continue to rage on), consider that unless you buy organic juice, you’ll be quenching your thirst with a cocktail of pesticides and carcinogens — all the stuff that’s sprayed on conventional fruits. If you choose apple or vegetable juice, you’re also likely to find sulfites — a food preservative to which one in 100 people is sensitive. Sulfites have been banned on raw fruits and vegetables, but are still found in some juices.

Once an orange is squeezed, the juice begins losing nutrients immediately due to oxidation. Exposure to air causes food to break down — think of an apple slice turning brown. So, pasteurized or not, the vitamins and enzymes in your juice started degrading the minute the fruit was squeezed.

The volatile compounds that make fresh orange juice taste so amazing also degrade quickly. They’re not called volatile for nothing! Nutritional value aside, freshly squeezed juice tastes better, and that’s one reason why.

So the next time you’re thirsting for a glass of orange juice, just juice a couple of oranges, simple as that. I use a pretty, old-fashioned glass juicer. It’s the kind where you simply press and turn an orange half against the juicer part. The juice flows into the dish, and then I pour it into a glass. I also have an inexpensive electric citrus juicer, which I use when I want to make more than a single glass. For other fruits, more complicated juicers are necessary, but citrus juice is so quick and easy! There’s really no reason not to squeeze a delicious, fresh glass whenever it strikes your fancy.

About the Author: Kim Kash has been a writer and editor for over 20 years, many of those in the book trade with Daedalus Books. Topics she covers as a freelance writer for range from federal government policy to yoga, food and travel. She often writes for beachbody.com, which provides home fitness video programs and recently launched P90X2, which delivers an even more advanced fitness workout. The author of the bestselling Ocean City: A Guide to Maryland’s Seaside Resort (Channel Lake, 2009), Kim is a founder of the Greenbelt Farmers Market near Washington, D.C. Two years ago at age 40, Kim and her husband sold everything and moved to the Middle East. Since then, she has traveled to twelve new countries and has taken up sailing, diving, and rock climbing.

Sources

http://www.cdc.gov/foodborne/juice_spotlight.htm

http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.725/healthissue_detail.asp

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20492165

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/sulfite-sensitivity

http://diaryofanutritionist.com/2012/02/27/the-great-juice-debate/

Pumpkin Soup

What do you do when you have left over pumpkin puree? You make lemonade. Just kidding. Actually, you can make this incredibly healthy soup. I have been in the kitchen all day baking.  I will be sharing my baked goods on my blog over the net several days. Yesterday I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I bought one of those really large cans of pumpkin so I had leftover pumpkin that I needed to do something with. So I decided to make this extremely simple, yet light and delicious pumpkin soup. Since the soup is so low in PP, i indulged  myself with a grilled Jarlsberg cheese sandwich to go with the soup.  There is something about soup and a grilled cheese sandwich that is so comforting.

Serves 4 (1 cup is a serving)

Ingredients

3/4 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (8 ounces) pumpkin puree
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup 2% milk
freshly ground black pepper
Italian Parsley (optional)

Directions

In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the water over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Don’t let the onion dry out.

Add the remaining water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and cook until hot. Don’t boil.

Ladle into warmed individual bowls and garnish with black pepper and parsley sprigs. Serve immediately.

The whole pot of soup is 3 PP.

About the Author, Marlene A. Baird: I am a native San Franciscian, with a Mediterranean heritage (the island of Malta).  I have a passion for making healthy versions of a variety of recipes from all over the world.  I am a Weight Watchers wanna be back at goal weight with a Lifetime membership. You can find more of my recipes on my blog, Nosh My Way or follow me on Twitter, @Marbaird.

Some Good Advice for Cancer Survivors—Lose the Weight

Do we really need to read another article to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and why we need to lose those extra pounds??  I thought not until I read a very interesting article highlighting research that suggests breast cancer survivors who maintain a healthy weight are significantly less likely to suffer a recurrence, regardless of the type of cancer treatment they received.

Heavy women are not only more likely to discover their cancer has returned, but they are  also more likely to die of breast cancer than thinner women, according to a study published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, Cancer. “We found that obesity at diagnosis of breast cancer is associated with about a 30 percent higher risk of recurrence and a nearly 50 percent higher risk of death despite optimal treatment,” Dr. Joseph Sparano, a professor of women’s health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and author of the study.

WHAT REALLY STRUCK HOME WITH ME was the fact cited in this article that women who are just moderately overweight  increase their risk of recurrence. Not great news when currently 64% of women in the US are overweight. Researchers believe that excess body fat may cause hormonal changes in the body that fuel cancer to spread and recur. Overweight women produce more estrogen and that can cause hormone receptor-positive cancers — the most common type of breast cancer — to grow.

Just more proof that women need to be good to their bodies, both by eating right and finding the time to incorporate regular exercise in their lives.

If you need help tracking your progress toward a healthier weight, keep reading! Brand New and available for sale on Amazon.com is the EatSmartTM Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale! This bathroom scale is innovative in its ability to display three readings at each weigh in: current weight, weight change from the last weigh in, and total change from starting weight.  The Precision Tracker will help you achieve long term weight goals, by tracking each small improvement — just  the motivational tool needed to achieve success.

Tell us what you think of the Precision Tracker – would it help you with your weight loss goals?

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

Easy Homemade Granola

Recently, I received a new product to try, Bee Free Honee, made from apples. I decided that I must find something to make with this tasty alternative to Honey. Granola, so versatile and easy to make! I tell you, the aroma that filled my house, oh my, so yummy. Made it feel like the holidays in my house. I normally would eat granola on yogurt or as a crumble to a dessert topping. This granola, I have been eating by the handful just as is.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Bee Free Honee (Or regular honey)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup small-dice dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw or toasted nuts or seeds

Let’s get started!
Preheat your oven to 300 F.
Mix together in a large bowl, the rolled oats, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt.
In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the honey, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour over the oat mixture until thoroughly coated.
Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, about 5 to 15 minutes more.
Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (It will harden as it cools.)
Add the fruit and nuts or seeds to the baking sheet and toss to combine. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. In my version, I used craisins, dried apples, chopped almonds and sunflower seeds.

About the Author: My name is Caitlin and I am a full time career woman with a home to maintain and two full of energy kids. My passion and downtime has always been baking and cooking. I love to bake and cook just about anything there is and share it with my friends and family on my blog, Caitlin’s Confections.

Healthy Snack Ideas for College Students Living in Dorm Rooms

Guest post by Alice from Be FITspring.

All settled into college life yet or is it still hectic? I know with your busy lifestyle, between adjusting to classes, making new friends, and joining new clubs, healthy eating might not be a top priority. However, have you thought about how much your diet can be connected to your performance at school – and your daily moods?

If you’re someone who eats small portions often and gets cranky when hungry (ME), you know you should stock your dorm room with healthy foods to eat between meals, take to classes, etc. I know you’re busy and I know you’re on a college budget – I’m also a college student! Yet, I find time between balancing multiple obligations to make sure I always have good, healthy snacks handy in my dorm room. A great way to save money is to buy in bulk (think Sam’s Club or BJ’s) and split the quantity and cost with your friends.

Everyone requires 3 macronutrients, so it’s important to make sure we are eating these nutrients everday:

1. Protein. The key to staying full and satisfied for longer and replenishing your tired muscles after workouts.

2. Carbohydrates. The number one source of energy for our bodies – and no “carbs” don’t necessarily make you fat.

3. Fats. Eat good fats (nuts, avocados, etc.) to lose fat. Fats are an essential part of a balanced diet.

Now, let’s get to the point – here’s what kind of food I stock up in my dorm room:

—————————————————————————————————————–

-Protein powders (Always read the ingredients before buying). I’m a big fan of Designer Whey.

-Chobani Greek Yogurts (I’m obsessed)

-Nut butters (And peanut butter chips and nut & fruit based bars)

-Ice cream (I mean I’m still a college student! I love SO Delicious ice cream and it’s dairy free.)

-Milk (My favorite is SILK Pure Almond Milk)

-Hard-boiled eggs

-100% whole grain breads

-Granola bars

-Oatmeal

-Cereals (whole grain and low in sugar)

-Fruits

-Tea or coffee

There are many more options out there but I wanted to share a few of my favorites!

Some of these foods, you may be able to take from the dining halls, such as fruits and hard boiled eggs. Take advantage of the dining halls – there’s nothing wrong with taking bananas and apples back to your room… A student’s got to eat, right?

Have a healthy & fun year!
Alice

About the Author: Alice is a sophomore in college, passionate about anything nutrition and fitness. She started blogging at fit-squad.tumblr.com and has recently launched her new blog, befitspiring.com where she hopes to inspire others to live a healthy, happy lives.

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Agave Cream Cheese Filling

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

Ingredients:
1 Cup Brown Rice Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 Cup Potato Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Tablespoons plus 2 Teaspoons of Tapioca Starch (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
3/4 Teaspoon Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon fine Sea Salt
2 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)
1/2 Canola Oil
1/4 Cup Almond or Soy Milk
1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin (Fresh or Canned – not the pumpkin pie filling if you use can)
4 Ounces 1/3 Fat Cream Cheese – room temperature
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar (Wholesome Sweeteners)
1 Tablespoon Maple Agave Nectar (Wholesome Sweeteners)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a cupcake pan or muffin pan with liners and set aside
  • In a bowl add brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt – mix until well combined.
  • In another bowl add the Sugar and Eggs and mix until smooth.
  • Add the oil, milk, and pumpkin puree – mix until very smooth.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet slowly and mix until fully blended.
  • Fill each muffin liner about 3/4 of the way with the pumpkin mixture, set aside.
  • In a stand mixer (or small bowl and use an electric hand mixer) add the cream cheese and beat until smooth – about 1 minute.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and beat well.
  • Finish by adding the maple agave nectar and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  • Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each muffin tin – you can leave it as it is, or press them down a bit, or even add a little bit more pumpkin over the cream cheese. Either way you do it, its delicious!
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center with just a few crumbs on it.
  • Cool for 5 minutes in the tin then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Enjoy!
  • Store in the refrigerator!

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.

Charity of the Month for October 2012 – Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey

Starting in 2011, EatSmart fans have been wonderful in helping us choose our Charity of the Month based on their personal recommendations. This month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to do things a little differently.

Maria Geronimo, who works here at EatSmart Products, has asked that we recognize Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey. Gilda’s Club is named in honor of Gilda Radner, who, when describing the emotional and social support she received when she had cancer, called for such places to be made available for people with cancer and their families and friends everywhere.

One such program, GCNNJ, located in Hackensack, NJ provides cancer patients and their families with educational and recreational programs including networking and support groups, workshops, lectures, and social activities. These programs, which are all offered free of charge to nearly 3000 members, are funded entirely by donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of October – so spread the word!

Read why Maria picked Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey :

“During the month of October, there will be a lot of media attention paid to breast cancer along with all the frightening statistics.  I wanted to focus on something good—on an organization that provides hope, comfort, information and a safe haven for those battling breast cancer.  More good news is that Gilda’s Club just opened a new facility in Newark, NJ on September 26th, to better serve and offer support to the inner-city population.  I am very happy to see that EatSmart Products will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of October, to help support these very programs.”

More information about Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey can be found on their website www.gildasclubnnj.org. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to help donate:

If interested in submitting a charity for consideration, please email karen@eatsmartproducts.com. The donation amount will be capped at 500 new followers/likes.

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