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Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Charity of the Month May 2013 – The Wounded Warrior Project

EatSmart fans will continue to select each Charity of the Month in 2013. Fans will submit short stories about the charity’s mission and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011.woundedwarrier

May’s Charity of the Month has been chosen by loyal EatSmart Fan, Jennifer Hall. She selected The Wounded Warrior Project.

We will be donating 50 cents for every new Twitter follower during the month of May. (So spread the word!)

Read why Jennifer picked The Wounded Warrior Project:
The Wounded Warrior Project holds a special place in my heart. The men and women of the Armed Forces give everything to us and ask for nothing in return. There are many obstacles that Veterans face upon returning home. As the wife of a Veteran I know first hand the obstacles that Vets and their families face. The Wounded Warrior Project offers family support, health and wellness, combat stress recovery programs, higher education programs, employment assistance services and more. Our Armed Forces have given so much its time to give back to them.

The Wounded Warrior Project is there to help any way they can.

Their Mission:
To honor & empower wounded warriors.
Their Vision:
To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.
Their Purpose:
To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members.
To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

They offer a variety of resources to Veterans and their families.

Click here and EatSmart will donate:

Twitter Icon

About Jennifer: Jennifer Hall is a homeschooling mom who loves to blog, take photos, and spend time with her family. She blogs daily at  Southern Belle, and she and her daughter run a blog called Biscotti and Bracelets together.

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

5000 + Mother’s Day Giveaway

Mother’s Day is a time to remember all of the wonderful women in our lives who mean so much to us. In addition to this special day for our important ladies, EatSmart has another reason to celebrate. The EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale has garnered over 5000 stellar reviews on Amazon.com! Why not combine these noteworthy occasions and celebrate with a giveaway! 3 lucky winners will each receive a Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale for you AND Mom!

MothersdaygiveawayEntering the contest is easy and can be done through the form below.  Here is how you can win:

  • Fill in your name (1 Entry)
  • Fill in you email (1 Entry)
  • Comment at the bottom of this post and let us know what color Precision Pro you would pick. [White, White Chrome, Black Chrome, Silver or Red] (1 Entry)
  • Like this blog post (1 Optional Entry)
  • Like us on Facebook (1 Optional Entry)
  • Click here to share the giveaway on Twitter (1 Optional Entry)

pro collageGiveaway ends on Monday, May 6th at 12 noon EST. The 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!)

A Surprising, New Way to Preserve Fruits and Vegetables

I am SO looking forward to all the fresh fruits and vegetables that will soon be available at the farmers market .  Are YOU considering buying a share in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for a summer supply of local, seasonal food directly from a farmer?  Me–I can’t wait.

freshveggiesI do spend a considerable amount of time picking out the perfect bunch of broccoli, the plumpest, bruise free strawberries–just ask my husband and he will confirm.  I enjoy the challenge of picking out, what I consider to be, the best of the bunch, the freshest for my family. What I do not enjoy is finding the produce wilted in my refrigerator because I was too busy to cook (really?). What a shame–what a waste!

There is hope–I recently caught this article in our local newspaper that explained the benefits of HEAT-SHOCKING to extend the life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by days or even a week. Heat shocking? I had my doubts but after reading the complete article, I am a believer and can do this!  Even better is the fact that it doesn’t involve chlorine solutions, irradiation or peroxide baths. Heat- shocking is 100% organic and all you need in your kitchen is hot water.

Basically, you submerge your produce in a large pot of hot water (between 105 and 140 F) and hold it there for several minutes.  Drain, dry and refrigerate as you normally would.  The optimum temperature and time submerged varies depending on the fruit or vegetable but general guidelines to follow are listed in the referenced newspaper article.

The biochemistry behind this process is beyond the scope of this blog.  I do know that my family and I will be benefiting from eating a summer’s bounty of fresh fruit and veggies and cutting down on unfortunate trips to the trash.

Have you tried this technique?

Story by: Maria Geronimo, PR Director of EatSmart Products

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Walnuts (and Pomegranates)

This Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal is a great way to start your day. It’s loaded with healthy ingredients and baking a batch of it allows you to have a “go-to” breakfast all week long. If you have a sweet tooth, I would recommend increasing the amount of sweetener in the batter. However, I find that using a topping such as maple syrup or peanut butter adds enough “sweet”.

veganpumpkinIngredients

  • 3 cups of Rolled Oats (240 grams)
  • 1.5 cups of Pumpkin (366 grams)
  • 1/2 cup of Almond Milk (use the milk of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1.5 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 tablespoons of Almond Butter *or the nut butter of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons of Maple Syrup (32 grams) *or the sweetener of your choice – agave or honey
  • 1 tablespoon of Hemp Seeds (15 grams) *OPTIONAL
  • 1/4 cup of Chopped Walnuts (30 grams) *or the nut of your choice
  • Pomegranates to sprinkle on top *OPTIONAL

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl
  3. Grease 9×12 inch baking dish
  4. Spread evenly into pan and sprinkle extra walnuts on top
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes
  6. Serve with maple syrup or topping of choice; honey, yogurt, peanut butter, pomegranates, etc.

Can you believe it? This recipe is actually vegan!! :)

About the Author: Karen Welby is the Marketing Director of EatSmart Products. Outside of EatSmart, she is a certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer.

BREAKING NEWS -The Presidents Have WON the Battle of the Bulge

Back in June 2012,  we had shared on the EatSmart blog, the story of Bill, President of EatSmart Products and Gary, President of ToiletTree Products and their 10 lb weight loss challenge. The contest required that both Bill and Gary would lose 10 lbs in 2 months and both met the challenge.  They decided to extend the contest for another year to see if they could keep the weight off.

President ChallenegeGood News–one year later, they are both WINNERS and have maintained their weight loss.

A January 2012 article in USA TODAY , Keeping Weight Off Is As Much a Challenge As Losing It, speaks to this very topic.  The article explains that people, like Gary and Bill, who are able to maintain their weight loss accomplish this in various ways.  The majority follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet of about 1,800 calories a day, keep a food journal and walk about an hour a day or burn the same calories doing other physical activities.  These findings were compiled from a group of 10,000 successful dieters in the National Weight Control Registry,  who have lost 30 pounds or more and maintained that loss for a year or more.

A key point that resonated with me was that these dieters, who were successful in maintaining their weight loss,  did so by making these healthy eating and exercise habits part of their daily routine and not a chore.  Food for thought as we all work towards healthier lifestyles.

Another important update, the brand new EatSmart Precision Tracker Bathroom Scale, that Bill and Gary introduced as part of their weight loss/maintenance challenge, was successfully launched in Fall 2012 to great reviews!

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

Easy and Low Calorie, Italian Chopped Salad Stuffed Shells Appetizer

italian-chopped-appetizer-photo-300x22512These tasty and colorful low calorie treats consist of a simple to make Italian chopped salad mounded into cooked pasta shells.  You can prep everything the night before and then added the dressing and stuff the shells an hour before your guests arrive.  They’re easy enough to pop right in your mouth but some might want it served on a small plate with a fork and knife.  The skinny for 1 stuffed shell, 73 calories, 2.6 grams fat and 2 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. This delightful appetizer can also be served as a first course, light lunch or brought to a pot luck. Watch them quickly disappear!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients
½ cup Cardini’s Light Caesar Vinaigrette Dressing or Girard’s Light Caesar Dressing, refrigerated,  see shopping tip
24 jumbo pasta shells (~ 8 ounces)
1 bag romaine lettuce, chopped into small pieces
1¼ cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in fourths
1 cup cucumbers, peeled and chopped
⅔ cup reduced-fat salami, chopped, see shopping tip
⅔ cup (about 20) Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced into pieces
½ cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
1. Cook shells according to package directions (al dente). Rinse in cold water.
2. In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients.
4. Start with ½ cup dressing and toss lightly.  Stuff each cooked shell.

Makes 24 stuffed shells

Shopping Tips
I really love Cardini’s Light Caesar Vinaigrette.  It’s one of the better tasting store-bought bottled dressings.  It’s sold in most large supermarket chains in the salad dressing aisle.  I found it at Von’s/Safeway and Gelsons. Another dressing that would work would be Girard’s Light Caesar Dressing. If your market doesn’t sell either of these, use one of the other brands of Light Italian vinaigrette or Light Caesar dressings.

My favorite light salami is a brand called, Columbus Lite Italian Dry Salami.  You’ll most likely find it in the deli section of the supermarket.  There are other brands available in the luncheon meat section of the supermarket.

Serving Tip
You can stuff this chopped salad in endive leaves instead of the pasta shells.

About the Author: Skinny Kitchen is your fun guide to healthy yet decadent-tasting foods. Each week Nancy Fox shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There is nutritional information and Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS on each. For more recipes, please join Nancy at – http://skinnykitchen.com/.

Easy Recipe Substitutes for Healthier Meals

We all want to eat healthier, and sometimes it is really easy to do so. With ingredient substitutions you can still use your favorite recipes that you love, just with less fat and more nutrition. Here are some of my favorite substitutions that give all of the flavor of the original but in a healthier way:whole-wheat-pasta-2

  1. Plain yogurt for sour cream – While I would not recommend putting yogurt on your tacos, in a recipe it works as a great substitute for sour cream. I have a Mexican casserole recipe that I love but it is full of cheese and sour cream. Now I have learned how to make it with less cheese, and low fat cheese at that, and substitute in yogurt for the sour cream. My family still has not noticed the difference!

  2. Whole grain pasta for regular pasta – I don’t know about you, but my family loves, loves, loves pasta. From mac and cheese to angel hair, fettuccini, and lasagna they can’t seem to get enough of it. However I knew it was not giving them the healthy lifestyle they needed. That is when I made the switch to whole grain pastas. Though at first they may seem a little more wheat flavored then normal you can find a brand that fits your family’s tastes. I love one that is white wheat with extra fiber and protein. It fills up my kids in no time and sticks with them all day!

  3. Spaghetti squash for pasta – Who ever thought a vegetable could be a good substitute for pasta? Well the first time I tried spaghetti squash I was hooked. Gluten free, tasty and healthy for you, spaghetti squash tastes great with the same sauces you love on your pasta. It is also fun for kids to help make. They love that a gourd becomes this stringy, pasta like food! Just bake until a fork goes through and then cut it in half, take out the seeds and toss them, and scrape out the delicious innards to make your own veggie pasta.

  4. Brown rice for white rice – My family are big rice eaters. My brother alone can clean out an entire pot of white rice with butter, salt, and pepper all over it. However white rice just doesn’t have the nutrients to sustain a healthy lifestyle. That is why I have switched to brown rice. Not only is it better for you but it has a great flavor and slightly crunchier texture that I find wonderful. There are many ways you can cook brown rice, but my favorite is the boil in bag version that is so easy to cook on busy days. I also love wild rice. Mixing brown and wild rice together with some spices makes for a great side dish that will make anyone happy.

  5. Egg whites or applesauce for whole eggs – I have always used whole eggs in my cooking but after figuring out how much fat that adds now I have changed my mind. After all, if you can’t tell the difference in your food then why add the fat? Now I substitute egg whites for whole eggs whenever I can. Two egg whites work for one whole egg or you can get the egg whites in a carton and use a quarter cup per whole egg. You can also use a quarter cup of applesauce to substitute for one large egg when baking. Although I would not recommend doing that in white or yellow cakes because the apple flavor comes through!

These are just a few of the many substitutions that you can make in your cooking to ramp up the nutrition and tone down the fat or sugar. The next time you find yourself pulling out a family favorite recipe try to come up with ways to make it better for your family without losing the flavor you love.

About the Author: This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of www.liveinnanny.com. She welcomes your comments at jdebra84@gmail.com.

Vegetarian Burrito Bowls

IMG_4822Ingredients:

  • Brown Rice, boil-in-the-bag – 1 bag
  • Cooking Spray – As needed
  • Corn, frozen – defrosted – 1 cup
  • Black beans, canned, no salt added – 1 can
  • Cumin, ground – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cayenne Pepper, ground – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lime, juice and zest – 1 zested then sliced into wedges
  • Avocado – 1 pit removed, and flesh scooped out
  • Cilantro – 2 tablespoons chopped
  • Salsa – 1/2 cup, divided
  • Lettuce, mixed greens – 1/2 cup, divided
  • Cheese, shredded – 1/2 cup, divided

Method of Preparation:

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the brown rice (boil-in-a-bag) and cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from water and drain slightly over the sink. Divide evenly between the two bowls.

Lightly spray a small sautee pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add corn and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You are looking for a nice roasted color on the corn, you may need a little more or little less time depending on your stove. Be careful not to burn them.

In a small sauce pan add the canned beans (no salt added or low sodium is best). Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, a pinch of lime zest (1/4 teaspoon), and the juice of 1/4 of the lime. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.

In a small bowl add the flesh of the avocado and mash it up with 1/8 teaspoon cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Squeeze 1/4 of the lime into the bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 of the lime juice, cilantro and lime zest evenly into the bowls with rice and mix well.

Top the rice with roasted corn, black beans, guacamole, lettuce, and shredded cheese. Serve with additional lime wedges if desired. Also great served with tortilla chips.

About the Author: Jenny Manseau is a Chef, Culinary Nutrition student and author of the blog Creative Cooking Gluten FreeJenny 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.

Never Waste Food Again! 10 Tips To Use Your Leftovers

As a child, my parents often reminded me that there were starving children in the world, so I was told to either finish my food or don’t take so much.

healthy-ways-to-eat-leftovers-artPerhaps that’s why I try to use everything I can while cooking. If your goal is to avoid food waste, you can find a great use for pretty much anything. It just takes a bit of creativity, but it’s so worth it when it’s tasty, healthy and saves you money!

Want to know some of my tips and tricks? Here you go!

1. Overripe bananas? Break into chunks and freeze in a ziplock for smoothies. Also, great for banana bread.
overripebanana2. Extra onions? Chop them up and use for a rice pilaf, stir fry or even in your scrambled eggs.
3. Extra brown rice? I often purposely make too much, JUST so I have leftover to make rice pudding (recipe here!). Also great to toss in tomato soup (or any soup!) and make brown rice pilaf.
4. Extra tomato soup? Have a little extra tomato soup but not enough for a meal? Sauté some onion (that’s possibly leftover too!), add the tomato soup to your extra brown rice and you have Spanish Rice! Ole!
5. Overripe fruit? Cut out the not so pretty parts and chop up the rest. Then cook it down as a compote or fruit topping for waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, hot cereal or over ice cream!
6. Extra avocado? Even a small piece of avocado acts as a great thickener for smoothies and desserts. Make guacamole or add to canned tuna or salmon instead of mayo.
7. Extra mint? Add this to your fruit salad, hot or iced tea (I LOVE fresh mint hot tea!), watermelon cooler, or freeze in ice cubes for use later.
8. Extra fruit or veggies? Make a soup, smoothie or juice.
9. Leftover potatoes? Depending how they are prepared, you could mash them, use them in shepherd’s pie (recipe here!), make a hash brown or toss in your eggs, make gnocchi (recipe here!)  or make baked fries!
10. Leftover bread (gluten free or regular)? Make French toast (challah is best!), bread crumbs, bread pudding or croutons!

BONUS TIP!
Lemon peel? Lately I’ve been peeling my lemons for my green juice and then with the leftover lemon peels (pith removed), I make candied lemon peel!

Abby-Phon-oatmeal-160About the Author: Abby Phon is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She leads corporate workshops on nutrition and lifestyle, conducts food tours, cooking demonstrations and offers individual health and nutrition coaching around the world. She is also a certified Shiatsu practitioner, a licensed massage therapist, an AFAA nationally certified group fitness instructor, an IntenSati Leader and a certified Oneness Blessing (Deeksha) Giver.

Website: feedyourmindbodyspirit.com
Facebook: AbbyPhon
Twitter: @AbbyPhon
Pinterest: AbbyPhon

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