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Summer Produce Guide

summer-produce-guide

The summer months provide an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetable options. With so many healthy seasonal goodies to choose from, it’s easy to eat smart! We’ve picked our favorite nutritional powerhouses to stock up on this summer. Hit your local farmers market or grocery store to check out all of the fresh choices.

Berries

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are all in season during the summer months. They are high in antioxidants and low in sugar, despite their sweet taste.food-healthy-fruits-kitchen-large

Cherries

Cherries are high in vitamins A and C and are known to help reduce muscle soreness. The bright red color shows they’re also high in antioxidants. Pick shiny and plump cherries for the best flavor.

Corn

Corn is best fresh from the stalk so try to buy from a local grower. Contrary to popular belief, corn does have nutritional value and is high in niacin, vitamins B6 and C and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Choose tightly closed, fresh-looking husks, fresh-looking tassels, and fresh-cut stem ends.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are known for being cool and are an excellent hydration source. They are high in vitamin K, are a very good source of pantothenic acid, a good source of potassium, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, biotin, and vitamin B1. Avoid those with spongy areas or wrinkly skin.

Eggplant

Eggplants are ripe when the skin is tight, shiny and smooth. It should feel heavy for its size. They are a very good source of fiber and vitamin B1, and are a good source of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese.

Figs

Figs are high in vitamin B6 and fiber. They are a good source of manganese, copper, potassium and pantothenic acids. They are sweet, crunch and chewy. Choose plump, firm figs that are free of bruises and make sure the stems are intact.

Melons

Cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelons hit their peak during the summer months. Ripe melons should be heavy for their size and smell like a melon. Watermelon is high in lycopene and pairs well with salty feta cheese.fruit-melon-watermelon-large

Nectarines

Nectarines are sweet and juicy with a smooth skin. They are high beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. They’re delicious on their own or sliced and drizzled with honey.

New Potatoes

New potatoes are small and tender with paper thin skin. They’re a great source of vitamin B6 as well as potassium. They are particularly delicious roasted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil.

Okra

Okra is a good source of folate and Vitamin A. It helps the body easily digest foods and may help lower cholesterol. Slice it up and thickens gumbos and stews. Leave it whole and it can be stir-fried or added to a casserole.

Peaches

Peaches are a summer staple. Sweet and low in calories peaches are the perfect topping for cereal, yogurt or even a whole grain waffle. They have over 10 vitamins and contain a variety of antioxidants and minerals, including potassium.

Plums

A relative of peaches and nectarines, plums are also a vitamin powerhouse. They are full of antioxidants, help improve digestion and they help our bodies absorb iron. Ripe plums yield to gentle pressure and are slightly soft at their tip.

Summer Squash

Patty Pan, Yellow & Zucchini are delicious varieties of summer squash. They are high in vitamin c, iron, folate, beta carotene and lutein. Versatile, low carb and low calorie they work in a variety of recipes. Shred up some zucchini to make “zoodles” and use them in place of pasta.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. Their bright red color indicates their high lycopene levels. They are also high in vitamins C, K and biotin. They are in rich in alpha + beta carotene and lutein, when paired with broccoli they have a unique synergy that prevents prostate cancer. Try them in soups, salads, pasta, salsa, sandwiches and vegetable juice.

What is your favorite summer vegetable or fruit? Tweet us at @EatSmartScales.

Vegan Flaxseed Paleo Tortillas

Flaxseed-paleo-tortillas-10WMEng-620x413

You can make a thin, pliable, paleo tortilla or sandwich wrap that is low carb, grain free, and egg and dairy free with this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flaxseeds (Either golden or brown flaxseeds work well.)
  • salt (Optional, to taste)

For instructions, click here.

About the Author: Tracy Ariza is a US expat living in Spain who loves to share unique, real food recipes concentrating on international recipes and holiday and party foods. Being a crafter at heart, she also loves doing DIY, repurposing things, and trying to figure out how to make pretty much anything she can think of. When she’s not blogging, she’s probably making anything from soap to something out of pallets or taking lots of pictures of food, plants, her son, dogs, and hens. You can find her on Twitter, @make_oh.

13 Tips for Exercising Outdoors in the Summer Heat

tips-for-exercising-in-summer-heatSummer is the perfect time to head outside for workouts. However warmer weather can also bring extreme heat and humidity, making exercising outdoors challenging. With a little flexibility and preparation, you can still enjoy an outdoor sweat session.

Here are our top tips on how to safely exercise outside in the heat:

Choose your time wisely – Exercise before 10 am or after 7 pm, when the day’s heat isn’t at its peak.

Hydrate – Drink 2 cups of water 2 hours before going outside to exercise and sip about 4oz of water every 15 – 20 minutes while outdoors to prevent muscle fatigue and heat exhaustion.

Wear appropriate clothing – Choose light loose fabrics that wick sweat away from the body. Wear a hat to keep the sun off your face and the sweat out of your eyes.

Protect your skin – Use a sweat resistant sunscreen designed to use for outdoor sports. Make sure to reapply accordingly. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun.

Seek shade – Go for a trail run or walk in the shady woods or a bike ride along a breezy beach where the temperature is often 10 degrees cooler. Bootcamp style exercises can be done in a shady spot for some heat relief.

Pay attention to your body – Lower intensity on days of extreme heat and/or humidity and stop exercising if you feel dizzy, have chills, are nauseous or light-headed. These are possible signs of heat exhaustion.

Monitor dehydration – For extreme exercisers, it’s important to monitor dehydration. By stepping on our MaxView Digital Bathroom Scale before and after an intense workout, you can see if you have lost water weight. For those who want a bit more info, such as their body water and muscle mass, we recommend our GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale. eatsmart-bathroom-scales-for-exercising

Let your body acclimate – It can take 10 to 14 days for your body to get used to exercising in the heat. Start slowly and gradually increase your time and/or effort while working out outdoors.

Watch the weather forecast – Keep your workout inside on days when a heat advisory is in effect or go for a swim instead. Working out in a light rain can be refreshing but don’t head out during an electrical storm!

Stay cool – Fill your water bottle half way with water and freeze overnight. Top it off with cold water in the morning so you have cold liquid throughout your workout.

Replenish electrolytes –It’s wise to replace electrolytes with some coconut water or a sports drink when exercising vigorously outdoors for longer than an hour.

Beat the heat – Squeeze a little cold water over your head, on the back of your neck or wrists to cool off quickly. Walking through a sprinkler is a fun way to cool down.

Cool down – Don’t shock your body by going from extreme heat into frigid air-conditioning. Be sure to do a cool down before you head inside.

A fun and tasty way to cool off after exercising is with a homemade popsicle. We’re sure that one of these DIY icepop recipes will hit the spot! popsicle twitter LOGORemember, you don’t have to sideline your activities during the summer – just take a few precautions and listen to your body.

Date, Corn and Goat Cheese Salad

goat-cheese-date-saladIngredients:

  • 1 tsp oil (like grapeseed or olive)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 8 cups greens of choice
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 dates, sliced thinly
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp toasted walnuts
  • 8 oz chicken or turkey if desired

For instructions, click here.

About the Author: A Nutritionist Eats shares simple and healthy recipes – that always taste good! Follow her on Twitter @nutritionisteat.

Charity of the Month July 2015 – Women’s Wellness Foundation

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2015. 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. womens-wellness-foundation

About the Women’s Wellness Foundation:

The Women’s Wellness Foundation is a 501C3 charity with a mission to help women returning home from incarceration integrate back into the community. The organization was started by 3 women who were living at a halfway house after their return from incarceration.

Women’s Wellness Foundation provides an alternative to recidivism for women leaving incarceration by addressing housing, employment and basic needs, while offering programs which focus on healthy relationships, education and life skills, providing a bridge to a new way of life.

Click here to visit their Facebook page.

For every new Facebook follower we acquire during the month of July, we will donate 50 cents/follower to the Women’s Wellness Foundation. (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate: FaceBook_512x512

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

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

quinoa-salad
This is the perfect summery dish.

Ingredients

1 Cup chopped red onion
1 1/2 Cucumbers, diced (approx. 4 Cups)
2 red bell peppers (approx. 2-3 Cups)
1 Cup roughly chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 Cups cooked quinoa (recipe here)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 Cup fresh lime juice (approx. 1 1/2 limes)

For instructions, click here.

About the Author: I’m a California girl with her PhD. I love jeans, iced coffee, homemade food, and smart humor. Luci’s Morsels is about fashion, food, and frivolity – all from an approachable and fun perspective…

Link: http://www.lucismorsels.com/2013/06/mediterranean-quinoa-salad.html

Healthy 4th of July Recipe Round-Up

diy-red-white-blue-recipes-for-july-4th-vertical-2Independence Day inspires us to enjoy the outdoors, watch fireworks and, of course, celebrate with family and friends over yummy foods. This 4th of July why not impress your guests with some fun and festive foods that are actually healthy? We have rounded up some holiday themed recipes that will have you feeling good about what you’re serving. Your guests will be impressed by the taste and that these amazing dishes are healthy too!

Fourth of July Patriotic Popsicles Patriotic-Popsicles-9Eng

Get the recipe from Oh, the things we’ll make.


Patriotic Strawberry Blueberry Cream Smoothies

patriotic-smoothiesGet the recipe from Daily Dish Recipe.


Healthy Baked Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit

baked-oatmeal-with-fresh-berries (1)Get the recipe from Kids Stuff World.


Red, White and Blue Salad

Red, white & blue salad with beets, blueberries and goat cheese.

Red, white & blue salad with beets, blueberries and goat cheese.

Get the recipe from The Noshery.


Red, White, & Blue Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

red-white-blue-cheesecake-stuffed-strawberries-5a-txt (1)Get the recipe from Snappy Gourmet.


Greek Potato Salad

greek yogurt potato saladGet the recipe from Peas and Crayons.


Fourth of July Fruit Pops

4th-of-July-Fruit-Pops_Bakers-Royale11Get the recipe from Bakers Royale.


Patriotic Pudding Pops

Easy-Pudding-Pops-Recipe (1)Get the recipe from Passion for Savings.


Do you have a favorite healthy dish that you like to serve or bring to a 4th of July celebration? Tweet us at @EatSmartScales.

Gluten-free Quinoa Meatballs

quinoameatballs-tall-nosh

These meatballs are entirely gluten-free, as I used crushed Glutino gluten-free bagel chips and quinoa, instead of traditional breadcrumbs.

Ingredients

1 poundGrass-fed Lean Ground Beef
1 teaspoonMinced Garlic
1 tablespoonTube Basil (sold in the produce section)
1 teaspoonSea Salt
1⁄2 cupCrushed Glutino Gluten-Free Bagel Chips (or sub regular breadcrumbs)
1⁄2 cupCooked Quinoa (I used red quinoa)
1  Egg
1 tablespoonPetite Sirah (optional)
2 tablespoonsOlive Oil (for the skillet)

For instructions, click here.

About the Author: Kelly is the author, recipe creator, and food photographer behind the blog Nosh and Nourish. She incorporates nourishing superfoods into every meal for her husband, adorable toddler, and herself (think quinoa, Greek yogurt, chickpeas, kale, eggs, etc..) and manages to keep everything tasting absolutely delicious! Learn more by visiting her blog, at www.noshandnourish.com, or check out her new cookbook “Superfoods at Every Meal” here.

The Pros and Cons of Calorie Counting

pros-and-cons-of-counting-calories-2
With so many fitness apps and activity trackers available, counting calories and monitoring fitness is easier to do than ever before. But does this emerging technology help us reach our health goals or is it an obsessive waste of time? Well, it depends on how you use it. Here’s a list of pros and cons, as well as some simple suggestions to help you eat smarter.

Pros of Counting Calories

It provides structure and accountability. Counting calories lets you know exactly how much food you should eat and plan meals accordingly.

It can be motivational. When you improve your diet, the immediate health benefits – weight loss, increased energy, etc. – can lead to positive behavioral changes and healthy habits.

It can lead to better food choices. Counting calories can help you identify which foods are more nutrient dense and which foods lack nutritional value.

It can encourage you to exercise. Knowing that exercise helps burn calories can inspire you to get up off the couch and move.

Cons of Counting Calories

It can be nutritionally incomplete. You may be tempted to skimp on necessary fats and proteins to eat fewer calories. However, this can cause you to miss out on important phytonutrients, vitamins and micronutrients that are necessary for a healthy body.

It can lead to obsessive behavior. Constantly thinking about calories and exercise can lead to eating disorders. It’s important to focusing on how you feel, in addition to your calorie count, to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

It may cause a disconnect. You may ignore or misunderstand your body’s cues and signals for whether you’re hungry or not. Always listen to your body; it will tell you which foods make you feel great and which don’t.

It’s time consuming and a bit tiring. Counting calories for every snack and meal can feel like a second job. It can also put a crimp in your social life since it’s difficult to accurately count calories at restaurants.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for a healthy and smarting eating plan, whether you count calories or not:

Eat balanced meals. Make sure you are eating nutritious, balanced meals that contain foods from all of the basic food groups.

Don’t wait too long to eat between meals. When you are very hungry, you’re more likely to make poor choices or overeat.

Weigh yourself once a week. If the number on the scale is too high and your clothes are too tight, then you’re eating more food than you need. We have a number of digital bathroom scales that help you stay accountable to your health and fitness goals. eatsmart-digital-bathroomscales-2
Keep track of your meals. A food diary will give an accurate picture of exactly what you are eating throughout the day. You can also jot down how you’re feeling to see what foods make you feel the best.

Understand portion sizes. Most of us cannot tell what 4 oz of meat or a 2 oz of pasta looks like. Our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale accurately measures portions and will save you from making wild guesses. eatsmartpro

Do you have a healthy eating tip that has worked for you? Tweet it to us at @EatSmartScales.

Almond Crusted Fish Tacos

Almond Crusted Fish Tacos-5405 (1)

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 ounce) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can reduced sodium corn, drained
  • 1 (15 0unce) can no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups spring mix salad
  • 1 cup unsalted almonds
  • 2 tilapia filets, cut down the middle (long-ways)
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoon skim milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan

For instructions, click here.

About the Author: Caroline is a food blogger and photographer, recipe developer, a new mom of two, and wife. She runs chocolate & carrots where she primarily focuses on healthier baking. She also runs crackers & carrots where she documents everything pregnancy and baby!

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