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Providing Tools and Tips to Live Healthier, Happier Lives

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

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

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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.


Voyager Holiday Giveaway


I can’t quite believe that we are again at that time of year when people will be doing a lot of holiday traveling.  Flying to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner or jetting home to celebrate the Holiday Season with family is all part of the American tradition.  The thought of sharing holiday celebrations makes you feel warm and cozy all over UNTIL you start to consider the prospect of dealing with airport crowds, baggage regulations and security checks.

To me, money lost on overweight baggage charges could be much better spent on gifts for the family.  At EatSmart, we have a solution on how to WIN this Baggage Challenge and avoid paying those pesky fees.

The EatSmart Precision Voyager Luggage Scale is a practical and savvy gadget that can alleviate stress at check-in and save you money BEFORE you leave home.  By knowing your luggage is under the weight limit, you can avoid the embarrassment of re-packing luggage at the baggage counter and most importantly, save money by avoiding overweight baggage fees.


To get the holiday season off to a good start, TEN lucky EatSmart fans will win a Precision Voyager luggage scale to help make their airline travel a breeze!  You can enter by simply by filling out the form below.  Good luck to all and safe travels!

Entering 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 your email (1 Entry)
  • Like us on Facebook (1 Optional Entry)
  • Click here to share the giveaway on Twitter (1 Optional Entry)
  • Like this blog post (1 Optional Entry)
  • What is the craziest travel experience you have encountered? (1 Entry) Bonus: We will feature the most unique responses in our special “Travelers” Post on December 17th.

Giveaway ends on Friday, December 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)

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Sweet Potato and Zucchini Soup

This recipe was submitted by Tina from Bits N Bites with Tina.
  • 2 small zucchini (peeled)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of celery seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic
  • ¼ package onion soup mix
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
sweet potato soup
  1. Melt butter or margarine in large pot
  2. Add all chopped up vegetables
  3. Stir and cook vegetables over medium heat for about 5 minutes
  4. add spices, soup mix and broth
  5. cover and simmer for about 30 min or until vegetables are soft
  6. remove from heat and let stand about 15 min to cool
  7. Blend until smooth
  8. Return to heat to warm up before serving

About the Author: Tina, a 51 yr old wife, mother and grandmother who loves family, food and travel. All of which you can discover on her blog as well as exciting contests and more! So come along and enjoy lifes journies with Tina at

Charity of the Month November 2013 – Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

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.

November’s Charity of the Month has been chosen by Carly Orden, a local EatSmart Fan.  Read why Carly chose JDRF as our charity to sponsor.

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At the age of 10, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. T1D is an autoimmune disease that comes on suddenly and strikes both children and adults at any age. T1D causes the body to stop producing insulin and is chronic and life threatening. From that day forward, I would have to manually keep my blood sugar within a certain range. It became crucial to test my blood sugar numerous times a day, take injections of insulin, measure the carbohydrates in every meal that I would consume and calculate how many units of insulin to give myself. It truly is a full time job with no breaks or vacations! As technology is advancing, it is now a bit easier than it was years ago to manage my diabetes. For example, I now use an insulin pump instead of taking injections. I also wear a continuous glucose monitor that tracks the trends of my blood sugars. The advancement of the technology is amazing and makes my life a bit easier.

Since I have been diagnosed, my family and I have been big supporters of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). JDRF is the leading global organization funding T1D research and is currently working to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D. More than 80% of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. JDRF organizes walks and bike rides in order to raise money. For 2 summers in a row, I helped raise thousands of dollars for JDRF by participating in their “Ride to Cure,” a 100 mile long bike ride. I am also lucky enough to have a dad who has participated in ten rides! JDRF is a wonderful organization that gives me, and the thousands of other Type 1 Diabetics, hope that we will one day find a cure. For more information feel free to visit

carly and Doc OPictured here is Carly’s younger sister Michelle, father Zach, and Carly

About the Author: Carly Orden is a recent graduate from Union College where she majored in mathematics.  She is now attending Teachers College Columbia University as a full-time student, as well as student teaching at a local high school. On top of all of this, she manages her body 24/7 to keep track of her Type 1 Diabetes and strives to live a healthy lifestyle.

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

Click here and EatSmart will donate:

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

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