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Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Guest Post by Janine McHale, owner of the blog, The Empowered Plate.

1/2 c canned or fresh roasted pumpkin
1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or low-fat milk*)
1/2 large banana
1 -2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)
2 Tbs ground flax seed
*if using low-fat milk add 1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend all ingredients until smooth, enjoy!
Serves 1

About the Author: Janine McHale is a certified holistic health counselor and the owner of The Empowered Plate. She empowers busy women and runners to reach their goals of weight loss, better nutrition, stress management and more energy via nutrition and lifestyle tweaks. Need help with preparing quick healthy meals for yourself and/or your family? Send her an e-mail at!

5 Benefits of Tomatoes and 10 Easy Recipe Ideas

Lately, I have been obsessed with the current fruit or veggie that’s super fresh and at its peak. Last week it was watermelon (ok, I’m still super into that too!) but this week I am all over that debatable “is it a fruit or a vegetable”? … tomatoes!

It’s the beginning of Fall and tomatoes are in season full force. These bright red, sunshine yellow, pink, deep brick red and light green juicy produce are so sweet and fresh this time of year, it’s not so hard to realize that they are in fact, a fruit! Tomato heirloom salads are on so many menus at restaurants and I even just ordered one last night! Yesterday for lunch I cut up a big fresh tomato from my CSA and put it in my kale salad. The night before I topped veggie Portobello burgers with thick slices of juicy tomatoes from my parents’ garden. Right now, I’m loving them fresh and unadulterated but below I share some other ideas!

These colorful nutritional powerhouses are the affordable ‘superfood!’ Here’s why:

5 Health Benefits of Eating Tomatoes:

1. High in Antioxidants! – High in Vitamins A & C means it’s loaded with antioxidants which helps fight free radicals (that can lead to inflammation and illnesses). Also boosts immunity! Best when eaten raw.

2. Cancer & Heart Disease Fighter! – Besides providing 2 grams of protein and fiber, it’s also a good source of lycopene and beta-carotene and helps fight cancer (especially colon & prostrate) and heart disease. Opposite of most veggies and fruit, the lycopene is easiest to absorb and therefore more beneficial when cooked.

3. Low-Calorie – It’s a low-calorie food so it can help with weight loss. A whole medium tomato has only 22 calories. Best when eaten with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

4. Anti-aging: Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is known to be anti-aging. Lycopene helps protect the skin from UV damage. Best when applied directly to the face! (Yes, the redness will fade.) Good for your bones too! High in Vitamins K & A, they prevent osteoporosis and maintain healthy skin, hair, eyes and strong bones and teeth!

5.  Very versatile – There are so many fun ways to enjoy tomatoes. Here are 10 ways to serve them:

Sauce – fresh pomodoro to top pasta or marinara for meatballs, lasagna or baked ziti.

Ratatouille – My Mom does this with her home grown eggplants and tomatoes!

Brushcetta – Who doesn’t love this appetizer?

Salsa – I bet you could get all the ingredients for this in one stop at your local farmers market!

Watermelon, Caprese or Greek Salads – They are the new addition to my watermelon salad but if you eat cheese/dairy…toss some with olive oil, fresh herbs (like basil), fresh mozzarella or feta which would give it a Mediterranean kick!

Gazpacho or Tomato soup – Enjoy it cool or hot!

Stuffed Tomatoes – Use large ones for an entrée and small ones for an appetizer or hors d’oeuvres.

Pizza – Add fresh chopped tomatoes (and fresh basil!) and no one will know you made it with store bought crust.

Roasted – Sprinkle sea salt & fresh pepper, pop in the oven and you’ll have a great side dish, or chop them up to put in your whole grain dish (like a Quinoa Pasta Salad) which adds some color and a juicy bite.

Juice or Bloody Mary – Either way, you’ll get a good amount of your daily vitamins. 🙂

How you like your tomatoes?

Guest post by Abby Phon. Abby 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.

Facebook: AbbyPhon
Twitter: @AbbyPhon
Pinterest: AbbyPhon

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

This recipe can’t get much easier! If you don’t have thyme, use a spice of your choice. (And I used my EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale to measure out my cauliflower!)


  • 1 head of Cauliflower – Chopped up into smaller pieces (This was about 1.2lbs after it was chopped up)
  • 50 grams (or about 1/4 cup) of Onion – use the Onion of your choice (I used red onion because that is all we had!)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Garlic – Minced
  • 1 container of Veggie Broth (32 ounce box)
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 200 grams or .43 lbs of white beans (Use 1 can – I only had leftovers)
  • 1 teaspoon of Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Heat pan with oil and add garlic
  2. Add onion and sauté onion until translucent
  3. Add cauliflower, beans, veggie broth and water
  4. Let sit on medium heat until cauliflower is soft (About 30minutes – stirring every so often)
  5. Add the thyme
  6. Take entire mixture and put in blender or food processor. (I used my Health Master and blended the whole mixture in one shot on low for 30 seconds)
  7. Puree as desire – add salt and pepper to taste

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

Five Star Celebration Giveaway

We have been so busy here at EatSmart promoting our new Precision Digital Tracker Bathroom Scale and Precision Elite Kitchen Scale that TWO milestones almost passed by without us noticing.

The Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Bathroom Scale has earned 1000 customer reviews followed by the Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale with 500 five star reviews on  Rather than let these achievements slip by unnoticed let’s celebrate with a fantastic GIVEAWAY for our EatSmart fans.  Four lucky winners will be randomly chosen, 2 participants to each receive a Precision Voyager Luggage Scale and 2 will each receive a Precision GetFit Bathroom Scale.

To enter, simply complete the form below and click on the submit button. Good luck!

  • Fill in your name. (1 Entry)
  • Fill in your email. (1 Entry)
  • What’s your favorite food to eat in the Fall? (1 Entry)
  • Like this blog post. (1 Optional Entry)
  • Like us on Facebook. (1 Optional Entry)
  • Email your favorite Fall recipe (or a link to it) and we will share it on our social media sites in October! (1 Optional Entry)

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Giveaway ends on Wednesday, October 3 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!)

Making The Perfect Cup Of Tea

Making the perfect cup of tea doesn’t have to be difficult. There are plenty of ways you can make the perfect cup, depending on where you are and what you’re doing. Unlike coffee, you don’t need a complicated apparatus or freeze-dried instant granules to enjoy your favorite beverage.

Regardless of your location when you’re making tea, always choose loose leaf tea over pre-bagged tea. Loose tea leaves are a better quality product that can often (depending on type and brand) be re-brewed for multiple infusions. From formal tea time sipping to tea on the go, you can have the perfect cup anytime.

On the Run

Tea is easier to make on the run than coffee. You just need access to hot water or a microwave. For best results, choose a ceramic travel mug. Most come with silicon sleeves and lids. You can heat water in the microwave if a hot water tap isn’t available. Tea can be carried in a storage tin, or if it will be used right away in a plastic storage bin or bag. A tea infuser is ideal for tea drinkers on the go. Just put loose tea in, set it in a cup of hot water and infuse. Once you’ve infused, cap it and you can put it back in your bag without any mess. If you’ll only need one serving you can just pre-load your infuser.

At the Office

Making tea at the office is a snap. Choose your loose tea leaves of choice such as English Breakfast to start the day, Pu-ehr for after lunch digestion, a fruity herbal tea for an afternoon pick-me-up. For best and easy results, add your favorite tea leaves to a high-tech teapot with appropriately tempered water and let steep. Once the tea is ready, simply set the teapot on top of your mug and let the tea drain out from the spring-loaded valve. The leaves are ready for another infusion and you’ve got the least messy cup of tea you’ve ever made (even including with the inferior tea bag method).

Casual at Home

For everyday tea drinking at home any tea pot, high-tech or traditional, works fine. One of the best choices would be a cast iron tea pot with strainer. Cast iron tea pots season with use and hold in warmth so you can enjoy an entire batch of tea. If you drink your tea slowly, utilize a votive candle warmer plate. You’ll enjoy delicious, well made tea in a fashionable and functional way.

Formal Affair

For those formal occasions, a china tea pot is ideal. A tray containing teapot, tea cups, saucers, milk, sugar, spoons and cloth napkins is a beautiful show piece. For traditional British tea service, tea should be steeped without the use of any strainers or filters to get the best quality infusion. A strainer is placed over the tea cup and tea is poured into the cup through the strainer until the cup is three-quarters full. If milk or sugar is added, stir the tea gently with a back and forth motion never scraping the sides or bottom of the tea cup. When finished with the spoon, set it on the backside of the saucer.

Drinking tea is a wonderful and delicious tradition. It is good for your body, mind and soul. No matter your preference, brewing the perfect cup anywhere is only a few easy steps away.

What’s your favorite cup of tea?

Guest post by Lauren Benson. Lauren studied journalism in the Midwest and now does freelance work as a writer and blogger in the health and wellness sector. She maintains that it is possible to work out during the outrageous Midwestern winters.

Spicy Buffalo Hummus

Guest post by Holly, owner of the blog The Healthy Everythingtarian.

Forget eating spicy buffalo wings, this meatless hummus satisfies the craving just as well!

Ingredients: (1 1/2 cups)
1 (15-oz) can garbanzo beans (Deshelled – simply pinch the garbanzo bean with your fingers, and the skin should peel right off. Peeling the skin ensures for an extra smooth, creamy hummus)
1 T tahini
2 T olive oil
2 – 3 T buffalo wing sauce or hot sauce
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 t garlic powder
salt + pepper, to taste
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
pita chips, red bell pepper + celery, for dipping

In a blender or food processor, blend beans, tahini, olive oil, buffalo sauce, lemon, bell pepper and garlic until smooth. Season to taste. Serve in a bowl, top with blue cheese crumbles and eat with dippers of your choice.

About the Author: Holly is the author behind the award-winning healthy food blog,The Healthy Everythingtarian. She is a freelance writer + graphic designer by day and a Wisconsin beer connoisseur by night.

So what do you need a Kitchen Scale for?

EatSmart Products is a New Jersey family run business that we started back in 2005. Our ongoing goal is to bring high quality, affordable bathroom, kitchen and luggage scales to the online marketplace, backed by a strong commitment to outstanding customer service.  It is what we do and we like to think we do it pretty well.

Because we are an on-line retailer, customer reviews and feedback are crucial to the success of our business. Reading through every single review and feedback on a daily basis is a necessary task but can be somewhat tedious (especially with all of those 5 star reviews repeating themselves -LOL). From time to time, it can also be HILARIOUS! Our customers are certainly coming up with very unusual ways to use our products and these unique comments can be quite amusing.

For example, our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale is a versatile home kitchen scale primarily used for weighing food/ingredients for portion control, cooking and baking. Our customers have given new meaning to the word “VERSATILE”! See below for just a few of the inventive uses they have devised for this product:

“Arrived on time and scale works perfectly for my foster kittens!”

“This scale is for measuring fries for Coney Night at American Legion. It works, no more else to say”

“Very easy to use. My sister and I used it in a botanical dyeing project and weighed both cloth and beets, blackberries, and turmeric. It’s great and did everything it said it would!”

“I use the scales in weighing wine ingredients…It’s efficient to alternate in grams, ounces, or pounds. This scale is a “must” for any serious wine maker. Cheers!”

“Great scale with accurate measurements. Use this to weigh pizza dough for great homemade pizza.

“The scale is light and easy to use. I can just put it in my tool box and bring it to the Farmer’s Market to weigh and sell my veggies. I love the tare feature! Good product so far.”

“Scale was purchased for CP soap making which requires measurements of pounds, ounces and grams. It works perfect and is easy to use. Great product!”

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST “Perfect for use to weigh my Ball Pythons, and the rats that I feed them. Thanks. Great customer server.”

Can’t wait to see the FUN ways our fans will find to use our soon to be released EatSmart Precision Elite Digital Kitchen Scale—a stainless steel addition to our kitchen scale line debuting in October 2012.

Personally, I think that it will be hard to beat the Ball Pythons—but time will tell…

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

What would you need a Kitchen Scale for? Please share!

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread with Walnuts* (optional)

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

Moist Ingredients:
1 cup finely diced zucchini (washed but not peeled)
2 egg
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

Dry Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup white rice flour
1⁄2 cup sweet rice flour
1⁄4 cup corn starch
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
1⁄2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup sugar
3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped walnuts*
Zest from one small lemon*

Glaze Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon lemon juice


Combine moist ingredients and mix well. Set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients by mixing together well in a large bowl.

Add moist ingredient mix to dry ingredient mix. Stir until blended well. Pour mixture into a greased bread pan. Bake 1 hour at 325 °. Check center for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from oven and let cool for a 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Prepare glaze, which should be runny. Drizzle with glaze if so desired, and serve.

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.

Top 5 Spices You Should Be Eating

Buying bucket-loads of pharmaceutical pills that seem only to worsen—or make more—symptoms is both costly and often ineffective.  Little did we know that our cooking cabinets can sometimes serve as mini-medicine cabinets!  Here are 5 spices you probably already have that can improve the quality of your life.

Turmeric.  If I had to talk about only one spice, turmeric would be it.  Turmeric and its main component, curcumin, are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.  (Given that inflammation is a common link between various conditions from arthritis to heart disease, this powerhouse anti-inflammatory is a good spice to have in your cabinet.)  A UCLA study found that curcumin blocks cancer growth; another study by the University of Texas associates turmeric with possibly slowing the spread of breast cancer.  Additionally, many experts believe that the reason India’s elderly population has such few cases of Alzheimer’scompared to Americans is because of this spice.

How to use it

  • Sprinkle it on meat before grilling it to lower the amount of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) formed when meat is grilled.
  • Brew a teaspoon of turmeric with a pot of boiled water and add a drop of lemon juice or honey.
  • Add to curries or even deviled eggs (and egg sandwiches) for a bold yellow hue and more complex, flavorful taste.

Cinnamon.  This delicious spice is loaded with iron, calcium, manganese, and even some fiber.  It’s antioxidant and, according to celebrity nutritionist Oz Garcia, “has a remarkable effect on regulating blood sugar,” making it a must for diabetics.

How to use it

  • Add to almost any baked good or tea.  In addition, “sweet spices such as cinnamon can also satisfy cravings and when added to tea or fruit, may eliminate the need for supplementary sweeteners,” according to Cheryl Forberg, R.D..
  • Try this healthy smoothie or juice: 1 apple, 1/8 tsp turmeric, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 2 cups water. Add organic yogurt or honey for added flavor and nutrition.

Oregano.  Another spice heavy in antioxidants, oregano is the mother of oregano oil, which has been attributed with effectively battling E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria by a study in the Journal of Food Science.  The phytochemical responsible: carvacrol, which is antibacterial and antimicrobial.

How to use it

  • Add oregano to any Italian dish.  It’s easy to grow in a garden—even in small spaces like apartments.
  • Add 5 drops of oregano oil and 5 drops of peppermint oil to 4 cups of distilled water for an easy (and economical) homemade mouthwash.  Add clove oil if you’ve got a toothache.

Ginger.  It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-tussive, meaning it suppresses coughs.  Not only does this make ginger a great home remedy ingredient for those prone to colds, it even works to ease discomfort from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.  Many Chinese herbalists recommend it for acne, too.

How to use it

  • Cut off a small chunk of ginger, dice or crush it, and throw it into a pot of boiling water.  Add lemon juice and honey to your tea for a pleasant and extremely healthy morning drink.  Drink it instead of coffee for two weeks and you’ll find yourself more invigorated.

Rosemary.  A study in 2010 found that rosemary (among other spices) reduced carcinogenic compounds produced when meat is grilled.  (Sound familiar?  Turmeric does that, too!)  Rosemary is also high in antioxidants, is antifungal, and is anti-bacterial.  Those with yeast-related conditions—candidaiasis, for example—can benefit from adding rosemary to their diet.

  • Brew a cup or rosemary tea for an antioxidant, anti-yeast boost.  Some say it can even help alleviate symptoms of Meniere’s disease.
  • Add a sprig of rosemary to a pot of potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and animal bone like chicken or beef for a great stew or homemade broth.

Be sure to let your physician know your diet so that no drugs are counteracted by these beneficial and powerful spices.

What’s your favorite spice?

About the Author: Heather Green is a mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for, a free informational website offering tips and advice about online healthcare admin degrees and online medical assisting degrees.

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