The EatSmart Blog

Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies – GF & Vegan

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Winter is here and what’s better than indulging on decadent sweets sitting by the fireplace?  These gluten free and vegan cookies give you a guilt free conscious and satisfy your sweet tooth with their chocolate almond butter filling.  The Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies will have the judges at your holiday cookie party begging for more.  It’s a must try recipe from our friend Jodi at, “What’s Cooking Good Looking.”  Jodi Moreno is a Natural Foods Chef, Photographer, and creator of the blog What’s Cooking Good Looking where she shares her healthy, clean, seasonal recipes and photographs. She’s passionate about showing people that vegetables can play a main role on the plate. Get the full recipe of Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies and check out more delicious recipes from “What’s Cooking Good Looking.”

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Happy Holiday’s!

Deck the Halls with Holiday Travel

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To celebrate the 2013 Holiday Season, we asked our EatSmart fans to share their craziest “travel experience” as part of our “Voyager Holiday Giveaway.”  Their responses came from far and wide, the best of which we wanted to share with you.  Perhaps, some of these stories will remind you of similar traveling fiascos that you have endured but the stress and aggravation fade as we spend time with family and friends during the holidays.

From our Fans…

“I was traveling to England for the summer and my luggage was stuffed and it was over the weight limit.  Then right there in the airport I scrambled to move some heavier items to my carry-on and even resorted to throwing out a bottle of my favorite shampoo so I would not have to pay extra fees.” –Daiva Baumgarten

“Not crazy so much as frustrating.  I was at the airport with my 4 year old and infant daughter.  Going through security I had to put everything through the X-ray machine including the stroller. I had to try to do this while holding the hand of my 4 year old and holding my infant in one arm.  To make matters worse I then had to take my belt and shoes off while still holding my daughters.  Not once did anyone offer to help! I was in tears by the time I got through security.” –Marci

“Years ago, I toured through parts of India. During my trip I had to take many smaller flights between the cities of India.  The strangest thing I noticed was as soon as the locals saw a hint of land they would abruptly remove their seat belts and jump up and line up at the exit door so that they could get off the plane first.  The flight attendant didn’t seem to mind at all!” –Pri Richards

“As the plane pulled away from the terminal, my baby’s stroller and car seat were sitting on the ground outside the plane…” –Michelle Goldbergholiday travel blog post 1

“My luggage popped open halfway down the escalator at Heathrow, leaving a puddle of my clothes at the bottom!” –Sharon Goudeau

“On a flight out of Beijing China, bound for Hong Kong, the airplane encountered a heavy thunder storm and the plane dropped hundreds of feet and people were screaming. We had to make an emergency landing in another Chinese city where the police held us in a security lock-up because none of the passengers had the correct travel documents for that city. After a 12 hour delay, we finally re-boarded the aircraft and flew on to Hong Kong. I will never forget that experience!” – Richard Harold

“We were supposed to be flying out of Newark Airport and the flight was cancelled.  They sent us by cab to LaGuardia Airport to catch the next flight, a 30 minute drive.  As my family was running through the airport, we heard our name being announced to come to the gate -the flight was leaving.  When we got there, they explained to us that the plane was already on the runway and that it would not be coming back for us.  Needless to say, we waited in the airport for the next flight.  While we waited, the cruise ship in Florida left without us.  They flew us to Nassau and left us on the cruise ship dock with our luggage waiting for the ship to arrive.  Considering it was only a 3 day cruise, we lost more than half of the cruise in a cab and the airport.  (Just an interesting note, we missed the plane in LGA by 3 minutes!)” –Danielle Murgia

happy travels

Olio d’Oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine (Gluten Free Olive Oil Loaf)

oil loaf


  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar + 2 Tablespoons (divided)
  • Zest of 1 large Valencia Orange (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil (make sure its a good one)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts

Glaze (Optional)

  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400•F
  2. In a large bowl add eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar – beat with a wire whisk until pale and you see a bit of foam.
  3. Add orange zest, , salt, orange juice, and olive oil.
  4. Beat with wire whisk until well combined.
  5. Add baking powder and gluten-free flour, mix with a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients well.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of mixture into each of the four wells of the pan.
  7. Top each loaf well with even amounts of sugar and pine nuts.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes – turning 1/2 way through to ensure even browning.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. If using a glaze – prepare it now: in a small bowl add powdered sugar and orange juice, mix until well combined and drizzle over warm loaves.
  11. Enjoy!

About the Author: Jenny Manseau is a Chef, 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.

2013 EatSmart Happy Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide

Do you face the dilemma of having SO MANY gifts to buy for all your favorite people but OH SO FEW ideas on what would make the perfect gift? We come prepared with a list of EatSmart suggestions that helps those on your gift list eat smarter, live healthier and travel easier.

TravelWise “Weekender” 3 Piece Packing Cube Systemholiday gift guide packing

The TravelWise 3 piece packing cube set is a travel essential that allows clothes to stay folded and neat when packed in their own “small drawers”. The cubes are fantastic for staying organized on short travels and long travels alike and help you avoid over packing. Constructed of lightweight, durable nylon, these multi-sized cubes allow you to compartmentalize similar items such as shirts, pants, undies and electronic accessories, keeping them organized and easy to find.

Available in 5 distinct colors, teal, purple, red, silver & black–The TravelWise cubes make a great gift for the frequent flyer, casual traveler, biker and backpacker who needs to utilize interior space to the max and streamline packing.

Where to buy?? Go to to pick up a set ( or 2) for only $22.95

EatSmart Precision Digital Tracker Scale

holiday gift guide tracker

The newest addition to our line of innovative bathroom scales, the Precision Tracker gives users the ability to work towards long term weight goals, while monitoring short term progress–often the motivation needed to achieve success.  At each weigh-in, the scale displays 3 readings: current weight, weight change from last weigh-in and the total change from starting weight.

Thinking of running a family ‘biggest loser’ contest? This scale privately stores personal data for up to 8 users and automatically identifies the person standing on the scale.  Everyone in the household can enjoy tracking their progress together. It’s the perfect gift to reinforce the fact that pound shedding is not a quick-fix, but part of a lifelong commitment.

Buy the Precision Tracker for only $44.95 on

EatSmart Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale

holiday gift guide elite

The EatSmart Precision Elite Kitchen Scale is every cook and bakers dream! The Precision Elite has the capability to weigh ingredients in four different units; ounces, pounds, grams and kilograms, allowing bakers and cooks to master international recipes. It features an extra-large backlit LCD screen for clear reading, a stainless steel platform that provides ample space to accommodate large mixing bowls, all with a 15lb weight capacity. You will also receive a FREE Calorie Factors Book making it easy to achieve goals such as portion control and calorie counting. Portion control isn’t just about restriction; it’s about remembering that in moderation, everything can be a part of a healthy diet.

The Elite is an essential tool in the kitchen and can be purchased at for only $36.95.

 What EatSmart Products will you add to your Wish List?

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

Charity of the Month December 2013 – The Lydia 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.

December’s Charity of the Month has been chosen by Michelle Waller, owner and author of Sweet Southern Lovin.  Read why Michelle has chosen The Lydia Project.

the lydia project

The Lydia Project helps women of all ages who are going through any type of cancer. Located in Augusta Georgia, they are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charity that was started back in 2003. The ladies of The Lydia Project send their support to women in all parts of the country facing cancer by sending them ongoing support and encouraging words along with a handmade tote made by a volunteer.  These heartwarming bags are filled with items to make their time a little easier. The ladies and volunteers of The Lydia Project would give a cancer patient the shirt off of their back if it would bring a smile to their face. lydia tote

This charity is very special to me because my grandfather was diagnosed with leukemia 5 years ago and ended up hospitalized the last few months. A volunteer from The Lydia Project walked by her room and saw my grandmother with a sad look on her face. She sat with my grandparents for hours and when she left she handed my grandmother 3 of their bags (which are filled with things like lotion, ink pens, travel sized tissues as well as other items). One was for my grandmother, my mother, and myself. When my grandfather passed a few weeks later, the ladies from The Lydia Project were back by my grandmother’s side to help her cope for her loss. Shortly after my grandfather’s passing my grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer.  The wonderful ladies from The Lydia Project came by every few days to check on my her and would bring her anything she needed, as well as sending her encouraging notes in the mail. The Lydia Project is an amazing charity that helps the women (and men) get through their suffering one patient at a time.

About the Author: Michelle is a stay at home mother and wife  to her husband and two daughters.  Her other passion is cooking and baking, brought up cooking in the kitchen with tons of memories of her grandmother, and  hopes to have that with her girls as well.  Get to know Michelle and her blog at Sweet Southern Lovin!

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

Click here and EatSmart will donate: FaceBook_512x512

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

Homemade Noodle Kugel

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Every year I’m always invited to a very close friends Hanukkah party, so I wanted to make an authentic Jewish dish for everyone to enjoy. After much thought, I decided to make homemade Noodle Kugel, a sweet and scrumptious side dish.  Since I’m not much of a baker this was a great opportunity for me to start by making something simple and delicious. Most of the ingredients are likely to be found in your pantry  but can easily be found at any supermarket.  In less than an hour, my kugel was complete and looked just like the recipe that I followed!  Not to mention it was a huge hit at the party. You can get the recipe I used for Homemade Noodle Kugel here.  I used Dave Lieberman’s recipe from Food Network .

 About the Author: Joe Origoni is the Marketing Manager for EatSmart Products.

Coconut Water: A Wonderful Drink Your Children Will Love

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Many parents have heard about the many uses of virgin coconut oil, particularly for cooking and adding flavor to their children’s meals. This is not the only product that you can get from coconuts. Coconuts also give you coconut water, a refreshing and rehydrating natural drink that you will surely enjoy.

Not many people are familiar with coconut water and its amazing properties. The truth is that this is one of the healthiest beverages you can consume. Coconut water is safe for people of all ages, making it a versatile drink.

Here’s one great idea: instead of the usual sodas and processed fruit juices you give to your children, give them a delicious glass of chilled coconut water.

What is Coconut Water?

Coconut water is the clear and light liquid that is extracted from young coconuts. It is the liquid part of the kernel (endosperm) of the coconut fruit. The endosperm is semisolid and jelly-like when the coconut is young. As the fruit matures, the endosperm becomes more fibrous and solid, transforming into firm coconut meat – the part added to recipes and used to make virgin coconut oil. If you want to enjoy coconut water and not coconut meat, choose young green coconuts.

Coconut water is very similar in appearance to water – it is actually 95 percent water – although it appears a bit cloudy.

Coconut water is a popular drink in many tropical cultures. In Hawaii, it is called “noelani,” which means “dew from the heavens.” Coconuts usually grow in rich, volcanic soils and near mineral-rich seawater, so the nutritional profile of this natural beverage is truly amazing.coconut water 1

Coconut Water Is a Nutritious Drink for Your Child

Next to pure, clear water derived from a natural spring, coconut water is the best beverage you can give to your child. Not only does it have a pleasant, slightly sweet taste, but it also contains an abundance of minerals not found in other juices or energy drinks.

Natural coconut water is:

  • Abundant in organic acids, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients.
  • Rich in natural minerals, vitamins (especially B vitamins), and trace elements like zinc, iodine, selenium, and manganese. These are very useful for the enzymatic reactions needed by your cells in order to properly function.
  • A wonderful source of natural salts like magnesium and potassium, as well as electrolytes.
  • Rich in cytokinins, plant hormones that have anti-cancer, anti-aging, and anti-thrombolytic effects in humans.
  • Low-calorie and low-sugar. It actually contains only one-fifth of the sugar found in other fruit juices. It also contains a good amount of fiber to moderate sugar absorption.

Coconut water is also known for its alkalizing effect on the human body. If you and your child frequently consume acidifying foods, then drinking coconut water will help prevent any cumulative effects of these unhealthy foods.

For more information about coconut water’s complete nutritional profile, visit the Coconut Research Center site.

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Coconut Water?

Another wonderful reason to use coconut water: it is very versatile! You can drink it on its own, mix it with a wide variety of drinks, or even add it to your favorite whey protein shake. Be creative when using this delicious drink.

One of the most popular ways to enjoy coconut water is to simply slice off the top of the young green coconut, put a straw through the thin and fleshy white meat, and then drink the juice straight from the shell – a refreshing treat! After drinking the water, get a spoon and scoop out the delicious meat inside. coconut water 3

Educate your children on the wonders of the coconut water and the coconut fruit itself. This simple but healthy drink may be the key to helping them stay away from unhealthy sodas and sugar-loaded fruit juices that do nothing for their health.

About the Author: Elaine Rosales writes for Her favorite topics include pregnancy, children’s health, and proper nutrition. She is currently researching about multivitamin benefits, and how it can help improve one’s health.

Baked Egg with Sun-Dried Tomato, Feta and Kale

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Are you sick and tired of making the same old bland breakfast every morning or just looking to spice up the menu at home?  Try this recipe from Katie At the Kitchen Door!  A healthy and different alternative meal with just the right ingredients, not to mention the nutrients! A big nutritional plus found in this dish is the use of kale, which is extremely high in vitamins A, C, and K.  Kale is rich in antioxidants, beneficial in preventing cancer and boosting eye-health.  See the full recipe of Baked Egg with Sun Dried Tomato, Feta, and Kale here.

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 About the author: Katie has been blogging at Katie at the Kitchen Door for four years. A management consultant by day, nights and weekends are dedicated to creating hearty, home-cooked meals with a unique twist. When not experimenting in the kitchen, she and her boyfriend spend their free time attempting to raise fruit trees and grow vegetables. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

New Guidelines for Cholesterol Management

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High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Abnormal levels of LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol have been treated with a low-fat diet, exercise, and medications such as statins.

New guidelines released Tuesday by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology change the standards for who should be taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs.

“The new focus is on risk” rather than simply a cholesterol number, says Timothy Henry, MD, director of cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. “This is a plan for dealing with cardiovascular risk.”  

More Americans could benefit from statins

According to the new guidelines, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs should now be prescribed to an estimated 33 million Americans without cardiovascular disease who have a 7.5 percent or higher risk for a heart attack or stroke within the next 10 years.  These new guidelines could double the number of people on medication to lower their cholesterol, experts say.

This is a dramatic change from the 2002 federal cholesterol guideline, which recommended that people should only take a statin if their 10-year risk level exceeded 20 percent. The old guideline only considered a person’s risk for heart disease, leaving out the risk for stroke.

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 The guideline recommends statin therapy for the following groups:

  • People without cardiovascular disease who are 40 to 75 years old and have a 7.5 percent or higher risk for heart attack or stroke within 10 years.
  • People with a history of heart attack, stroke, stable or unstable angina, peripheral artery disease, transient ischemic attack, or coronary or other arterial revascularization.
  • People 21 and older who have a very high level of bad cholesterol (190 mg/dL or higher).
  • People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who are 40 to 75 years old.

To calculate 10-year risk, the equation uses race, gender, age, total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, use of blood pressure medication, diabetes status and smoking status.

The new equations offer greater accuracy in predicting the chances of heart attack or stroke in African-Americans, whose risk levels are higher than whites.  But the new risk equations actually benefit everyone. That’s because for the first time, stroke risk has been added to the equation, giving patients a two-in-one assessment of their future cardiovascular health.hearth health 2

 Living a healthy lifestyle

Statins do have side effects, including muscle aches.  Living a healthy lifestyle is the first step in lowering your risk of heart attack or stroke, then focusing on the use of statins for moderate to high-risk patients, says Dr. Henry.  If your risk is very high, your doctor may not give you time to try lifestyle changes alone but may prescribe medication and encourage you to improve your lifestyle.

Diet and exercise are still the best ways to avoid heart disease. It’s just that they aren’t as easy for patients as popping a pill.

Reference:  WebMD Health News/  New Cholesterol Drug Guidelines: Q&A/  Kathleen Doheny

Spiced Chili – Gluten Free

gluten free chili

Chili – Gluten Free, Onion Free, Soy Free – easily adaptable to fit a vegan or vegetarian diet by substituting the meat for additional beans and even tofu.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  •  4-6 celery stocks (cleaned and chopped)
  •  5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  •  1 large green (or red) bell pepper, chopped
  •  1 can of tomato paste
  •  3 tablespoons chili powder (if you like less spice, use 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons)
  •  2 tablespoons chopped chipolte chili peppers in adobo sauce
  •  1 tablespoon of the adobe sauce from the chili peppers (this is in addition to the 2 tablespoons of the chopped chili’s)
  •  1/2 teaspoon cumin
  •  1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  2 pounds of ground beef
  •  1 28oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  •  1 bay leaf
  •  2 cans 14.5 oz kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  •  1/2 cup water
  •  Salt and ground pepper


  • In a 5-quart heavy pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  •  Add garlic, celery and peppers.
  •  Season with salt and pepper and cook until the celery and peppers have softened – about 3 minutes.
  •  Add tomato paste, chili powder, chipotle chili’s, adobo sauce, cumin and cinnamon to the garlic, celery and peppers.
  •  Cook until everything is well combined and starts to brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  •  Add ground beef, and brown, breaking it down into chunks and no longer pink.
  •  Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, bay leaf, kidney beans and water.
  •  Simmer for 45 minutes to one hour – taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly.
  •  Top with: shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, etc.


About the Author: Jenny Manseau is a Chef, 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.


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