The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

6 Travel Tips for a Stress Free Spring Break

stress-free-travel-tipsSpring break is on the way, have you started making your travel plans? It’s a good idea to make plans in advance so you can get the best deals at the destination of your choice. We put together a list of tips to help you plan a stress free vacation. After all, your get away should be about making memories.

  1. Do Your Research – Whether you’re looking for something family friendly or to hang out with friends, you want a destination that suits your needs. Do you want a relaxing week on the beach or more of an urban atmosphere? Should your hotel be in the center of town or on a quiet beachfront property?
  2. Book Early – The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get the best prices and deals. Hotels book up quickly so make sure you have one in advance. Book activities, such as surfing or parasailing, in advance as well. You will be happier knowing your spot is guaranteed.
  3. Pack Wisely – Tourist destinations will charge top dollar for bathing suits, towels and sunscreen. It’s easier to bring everything you need rather than hunt around for it on vacation. Use our 3 Piece TravelWise Packing Cube System to maximize space in your luggage and keep you organized. It will also keep your clothing safe from any lotion bottles that might open mid-flight!social top-travel-tips-for-flying-1for posts(7)
  4. Road Trip Smart – Planning on driving to your vacation? Make sure to have another driver to share the miles and to help keep you alert. Plan time for stretch stops and meal breaks. Don’t forget to bring along a map as a backup since GPS and cell service can be spotty in some locations.
  5. Money Saving Ideas – The local Chamber of Commerce and sites such as LivingSocial or Groupon can help you plan free and low-cost activities. Still a student? Be sure to bring your Student ID, which may be useful for receiving discounts at various places of interest. Avoid incurring unwanted baggage fees by bringing along our Precision Voyager Luggage Scale. It reads luggage weight quickly and is small enough to toss in your suitcase for the return trip!voyager-2
  6. Share a Copy of Your Itinerary – A family member or friend should have a copy of your travel itinerary. It’s just smart to let someone know where you will be and how to get in touch with you other than your smartphone, especially when traveling internationally.

Where is your favorite Spring Break destination? Do you have a Spring Break travel tip that you’d like to share? Tweet to us, @eatsmartscales – we would love to hear from you!

Brown Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Brown Rice Crispy Treats (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
Ingredients
⅔ cup brown rice syrup
¼ cup almond butter
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
4 cups brown rice crisp cereal
2 Tablespoons Enjoy Life dairy-free mini chocolate chips

Instructions
Measure brown rice crisp cereal and place in a large bowl.
Place brown rice syrup, almond butter and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat while stirring until mixture is combined and creamy. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and sea salt.
Pour brown rice syrup mixture over the brown rice cereal and stir until well combined.
Press cereal into a square baking dish lined with parchment paper using your hands. Press chocolate chips into the top.
Let cool in the fridge for 1 hour before cutting into squares.

About the Author: Brittany Mullins is a health coach, certified NASM personal trainer and the blogger behind Eating Bird Food, a blog dedicated to healthy food, fitness and a bit of everyday life. Learn more by visiting her her blog, www.eatingbirdfood.com and her health coaching site, www.brittanymullins.com.

10 of the Best Fruits and Vegetables to Eat During the Cold Winter Months

THE ULTIMATE(6)When we think of summer we think of sun, fun, picnics that include salads, berries and melons. When we think of winter we generally think of snow, hot cocoa, and fireplaces but rarely do we think of fruits and vegetables. Yet, some produce is at its peak in the winter allowing us to enjoy delicious and healthy foods year round! Here are 10 of our favorite seasonal produce to try before the warm weather comes:

Apples

Apples season may start in the fall but apples are still delicious in the winter. They’re great as a snack and yummy when baked as a treat.

Beets

Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. They have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support for your body. Try roasting beets to bring out their natural sweetness.

Broccoli

Most cruciferous vegetables can be grown year round. Broccoli actually tastes sweeter when it’s harvested in the colder weather!

Carrots

Root vegetables are readily available this time of year. Look for brightly colored heirloom varieties of carrots for an extra nutritional boost as well as a pop of color.

Chicory

Endive, escarole and radicchio are all members of the chicory family. They are sweeter in the winter and are particularly good when added to salads, stews and soups.

Citrus

Kumquats, tangelos, clementines, oranges and grapefruit are all in season in the winter. Brightly colored skin and a fruit that feels heavy in your hand are good indicators of ripeness. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on your grapefruit and broil it for a delicious grapefruit brulee.

Fennel

The bulb of the fennel has a light anise flavor and is tasty when shaved thin into salads or paired with oranges. Slice the fennel thicker, sprinkle it with a little parmesan cheese and broil it for a yummy side dish. The fronds can be sprinkled into salads for an herbaceous note.

Greens

Not all greens are delicate; kale, collards, and mustard greens, are hardy enough to survive the colder temperatures of the fall and winter. Kale and collards are sturdy and slightly bitter, perfect for stews or stir fries. Mustard greens are pungent and give a kick to salads.

Onions

Onions are so versatile and good for flavoring a variety of foods. Did you know that they are high in vitamin C and in fiber? They also star in French Onion Soup and Onion Tart!

Winter Squash

The name says it all; these squash are in season from late fall through early March. Varieties include: kabocha, delicata, acorn and butternut. There are thousands of squash recipes: bake, roast, or broil them, put them in stews and soups. They are delicious just about any way you cook them!

Visit your farmers market or the produce section of your grocery store. You will be pleasantly surprised by the variety that’s available during the winter season.

What is your favorite winter vegetable or fruit? Tweet to us @eatsmartscales.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Rice Cake Protein Balls

SAMSUNG CSCThe recipe only makes 4 protein balls and each one has approximately 75 calories, 3.5g fat, and 3g protein. And they’re actually pretty big despite my photos not making them look that way.

Ingredients:

Directions: Crush rice cake with hands and place in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients listed above and combine well. (I used the back of a spoon to really mush everything together.)

Divide batter into four sections and roll each of them with your hands into a ball. Refrigerate or eat immediately. Enjoy!

About the Author:  For more than four years, Tina has shared her life through journaling her daily meals and workouts on her blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake. Each day, she strives to find the right balance without losing out on fun or good taste. Tina also writes a weekly feature for Health.com. Her first book, Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Cupcake at a Time, was published in May 2011.

Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes

valentinesday-healthy-treats-recipesValentine’s Day brings to mind chocolates, flowers, candy and romantic dinners. There is something wonderful about sharing sweet treats and delicious meals with someone you love. It is possible to celebrate with some yummy and healthy treats and meals. We have rounded up some healthier recipes for you to share with those special people in your life. Whether you’re celebrating with friends, your kids or a romantic date, we have a recipe for that!

Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters

valentine size 555Get the recipe from SkinnySweetsDaily


Salted Caramel Vegan Cheesecake

Salted-Caramel-Cheesecake-My-Whole-Food-LifeGet the recipe from My Whole Food Life


Whole Wheat Banana Pecan Pancakes

Whole-Wheat-Banana-Pecan-Pancakes-chocolateandcarrots.com_Get the recipe from Chocolate and Carrots


Vegan Chocolate-Covered Cherries

cherries1Get the recipe from Fork and Beans


Almond Joy Chia Pudding

Almond_Joy_Chia_Pudding__thumb
Get the recipe from Carrots ‘N’ Cake


Mini Lemon Curd Tarts

mini-lemon-curd-tarts-2Get the recipe from Texanerin Baking


Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

cookie-recipeGet the recipe from Pass the Sushi


Petite Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cups

mouuse cupsGet the recipe from SkinnySweetsDaily

Wishing you a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!

Leftover Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding

Brown Rice Pudding 005

Leftover brown rice is the best way to eat this pudding! If you want to use more whole grains beyond whole wheat, there are so many others!

Ingredients:

Take 2 cups cooked brown rice, reheated.

In a blender, blend up:

  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (or low fat milk with 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup berries (strawberries)
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave

Directions:

Mix the milk and berries with your warmed up brown rice. Let sit for 5 minutes to absorb Top with extra berries or other fruit.

Makes 4, 1/2 cup servings.

About the Author: Amy and Natalie, nutrition educators, love to share ideas on helping kids eat more fruits and vegetables! Check out their blog for new healthy recipes each week, Super Healthy Kids.

Charity of the Month for February 2015 – Catching Up With Chromebooks!

EatSmart fans will continue to select a “Charity of the Month” in 2015. Fans will submit short stories about a charity’s mission or fundraising efforts and why it’s meaningful to them. We began our Charity of the Month donations in 2011.

catchingupwithchromedonation

Catching Up With Chromebooks is high school teacher, Ms. King‘s technology project at Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction in New York City, NY.

Here’s information on the students and the project:

My Students: In our classroom we work to develop the digital literacy skills that most of our peers take for granted, so we can be fully prepared for life after high school. With the addition of classroom Chromebooks we can overcome the digital divide!

UASDC is a Title I high school located in Manhattan with students hailing from all five boroughs. Our school is majority male. The best way to describe my students is through the nickname I give them…they are my “chicken nuggets”…because there is nothing better than a chicken nugget, and there are no better kids than my kids.

kingprojectLast week I had nearly twenty students in my classroom, working intently on a research project, until 5:30 at night. The 10th graders had accepted a challenge-to create a social justice documentary that highlighted a problem they saw in their communities. They researched the issue, interviewed New Yorkers on the street, and created viable solutions to the problems. Using rented iMacs students took their work and created 5 minute documentaries.

Students were challenged-both by the assignment, and the skills needed to complete the task. They demonstrated academic grit as they worked together to navigate the technological challenges.

My Project: Most people assume that today’s teenagers possess tons of technological skills. My students are able to text, and update Facebook, upload pictures, play games…but they struggle to send an email or add an attachment. Being able to navigate the internet in a professional manner is an important post-secondary skill, one that other students around the country take for granted.

We are slowly trying to catch up, technologically, to the 21st century. In my classroom we develop the digital literacy skills that many students in the US take for granted. With the addition of Google Chromebooks we would be able to prepare for college by overcoming the digital divide. By having access to just ten Chromebooks we would be able to practice online discussion techniques, collaborative writing, and even responding professionally to teachers and peers via email. Students will be able to practice peer editing, publish and share their writing with a larger audience.

Technology is something many of us take for granted today. We don’t really think about the skills attached to logging on. Accessibility for many of my students is limited to a smartphone. These simple Chromebooks will help students to hone their reading and writing craft, as well as prepare them for success in the 21st century.

My students need 10 Chromebooks to develop the digital literacy skills necessary for success in the 21st century.

EatSmart is donating 50 cents for every new Facebook follower during the month of February to Ms. King’s technology project, Catching Up With Chromebooks. (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate:

FaceBook_512x512

About Ms. King: Ms. King is a high school teacher in NYC who loves her job and all things NYC. Outside of the classroom, she loves running and coaching new runners, and has completed the New York City Marathon twice.

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

Cauliflower Cake with Flax Seeds

Cauliflower Cake 4Ingredients:

  • 1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into small florets
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4-5 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used, swiss and cheddar)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. flax seed or sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400ºF. Line a springform cake pan with parchment paper, brush the sides with melted butter and toss the flax seeds around the inside of the pan. Set aside.

In a saucepan over high heat, combine the cauliflower and salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the cauliflower is just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a small pan heat the olive oil, add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until golden brown color. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

In a large bowl mix together eggs and spices. Then add the flour, baking powder, cooked onion, fresh cilantro and cheese. Whisk until smooth before adding the cooked cauliflower. Mix in the cauliflower and stir gently.

Pour the mixture into prepared pan, spreading it evenly, sprinkle with flax seeds. Place in the center of the oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serve it as a side dish for Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley or as a light supper alongside with your favorite salad.

About the Author: My name is Yelena, and I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia and now live in Historic town near Philadelphia. I’m a wife to a wonderful guy and a mother to two precious children, and have a food blog called Cooking Melangery. I have a degree in Culinary Arts and a passion for anything beautiful and creative. I currently work as a freelance food stylist and photographer from my home studio.

Note: This recipe was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe from Plenty More.

EatSmart Products 2015 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

eatsmart-valentines-day-gift-guide

Are you still deciding on what to get your Valentine? We put together a Valentine’s Day guide of some unique gifts in holiday appropriate red! We guarantee your sweetheart will be thrilled to receive a practical, thoughtful EatSmart Product.eatsmart-valentines-day-gift-guide-vertical-2

#1 EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale

Our red Precision Pro is a thoughtful Valentine gift for the foodie who loves to cook or bake. The sleek modern scale measures up to 11 lbs, perfect for home cooking and baking. The tare button automatically eliminates the weight of a bowl or plate, as well as previous ingredients. Accurate measuring of ingredients leads to superior results.

You can purchase the Precision Pro Kitchen Scale on Amazon here.

#2 EatSmart Precision Retro Mechanical Kitchen Scale

Our red Precision Retro puts a fun retro twist on a kitchen basic, perfect for the cook who likes an old school vibe. The scale comes with a 1.5 quart stainless steel mixing bowl to measure ingredients in. The Retro is accurate which makes it excellent for basic cooking and kitchen needs.

You can purchase the Precision Retro Mechanical Kitchen Scale on Amazon here.

#3 EatSmart Precision Elite Food Thermocouple Food Thermometer

Our Precision Elite is a handy tool for the home cook. It lets the cook know when the meat is perfectly done, whether in the oven or out on the grill. No more wondering if the chicken is cooked through or not! Simply fold the probe down and insert into the thickest part of the meat and in 3 seconds you’ll have an accurate internal temperature reading!

You can purchase the Precision Elite Food Thermometer here.

#4 EatSmart Travelwise Packing Cubes

Our Travelwise Packing Cubes are the ultimate convenience for the traveler and the red color will remind your Valentine of you. The cubes let you compartmentalize similar size items, maximizing your luggage space. The open mesh design lets you see what’s in the cube so you never have to search for what you need. Keep clothes organized and neat with the Packing cube, we offer them in 3 and 5 piece sets.

You can buy the Travelwise Packing Cubes on Amazon: 3 piece set and 5 piece set.

Click here to share our Gift Guide on Twitter.

Light and Lovely Red Velvet Cake Cookies

Using a boxed mix make the prep work for this delicious recipe so easy and fun to make. Enjoy your cookies and keep these in mind for Valentine’s Day treats!
Redvelvet_cookies_fixed
Ingredients:

  • 1 pouch (1lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch processed)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
  • Colored sprinkles or powdered sugar for decoration (optional)

For baking directions, click here.

About the Author: We at Skinnysweetsdaily.com feel you can have your sweet treat and still stay on a healthy eating plan. By cutting down on fat and calories but bringing up the flavors and textures of our recipes. You can have a great tasting dessert and enjoy every single bite without the guilt. Enjoy!

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