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13 Common Cooking Mistakes You’re Probably Making

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Whether you’re a professional chef, or are still learning to boil water properly, everyone makes mistakes while cooking. Some mishaps will go unnoticed, but others can spoil a dish and will leave you ordering take-out.

We’d like to help take your cooking skills to the next level. We’ve compiled some of the most common cooking mistakes and how to prevent each of them from happening in your kitchen.

Mistake #1: You didn’t read the entire recipe before cooking

Before you prepare a dish, you should confirm that you have the correct ingredients and verify the proper cooking time. If you don’t read the full recipe, you could miss critical marinating or resting times for your meal.

Follow this tip: Be prepared before beginning your meal. It’s not worth dirtying the dishes if you’re pressed for time or don’t have the correct ingredients to perfect your meal.

Mistake #2: You boil instead of simmer

Stews and soups benefit from a slow simmer rather than an intense boil. Don’t try to hurry your meal along by bringing it to a boil. Boiling dries meat out and makes the vegetables too soft.

Follow this tip: Simmering helps make the meat tender and allows flavors to blend. Allow enough time for your meal to properly simmer on the stove or utilize your slow cooker. Adding your ingredients to your slow cooker in the morning lets your stew or soup simmer throughout the day, eliminating the need to rush in the evening.

Mistake #3: You don’t know your oven’s real temperature

Not all ovens heat evenly or accurately – even the pricey brands. You may think you are baking your cake at 350 degrees, but your oven’s true temperature is actually lower or higher. Even a slight difference could lead to a cake that’s raw in the middle or burned on top.

Follow this tip: Use an oven thermometer to ensure an accurate oven temperature reading. Then you will know if you need to raise or lower the heat to hit the proper cooking temperature.

Mistake #4: You don’t accurately measure ingredients

precision digital
Depending on the dish, this isn’t always a big deal, but when baking this can ruin your cake or cookies. Packing flour into your measuring cup causes cakes to be dense and tough, while using too much butter can make cookies flat.

Follow this tip: The most accurate way to measure your ingredients is to measure them by volume with your EatSmart Precision Digital Kitchen Scale. Using your kitchen scale, weigh food items and recipe ingredients directly on the scale platform or utilize the scale’s tare (zero) function, which eliminates the weight of a plate or bowl and makes cleanup a snap. You will get superior results when you have the correct ratio of ingredients.

Mistake #5: You put cold meat in the oven

Cooking very cold meat leads to uneven results. The chicken may be perfectly browned on the outside but pink and raw on the inside.

Follow this tip: Let the meat sit out a few minutes to take the chill off.  Your meat will cook much more evenly when it’s closer to room temperature.

Mistake #6: You overcrowd the pan

Overcrowding leads to soggy and unappealing meats and vegetables. Meat won’t brown and vegetables won’t crisp or caramelize if there isn’t room for moisture to evaporate.

Follow this tip: Give your food some space by either cooking in smaller batches or using more pans. Spreading the food out will give you the texture you’re longing for.

Mistake #7: You keep poking the meat

Repeatedly flipping your burgers while grilling or constantly poking your meat lets the juices escape, resulting in dry meat.

eatsmart-food-thermometerFollow this tip: Leave your meat alone during the cooking process. Use a food thermometer, such as our Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer, toward the estimated end of your cooking time to determine when the meat is cooked to perfection. The 1.5mm probe leaves a very small puncture so juices stay within the meat, and it records the temperature in seconds.

Mistake #8: You don’t heat the pan enough

Adding cold oil to a cold pan and topping with cold food can throw off texture and lead to gummy results.

Follow this tip: Food should sizzle when it hits the pan. Be sure to adequately heat the pan and the oil before adding your ingredients.

Mistake #9: You don’t get your ingredients together

You have to stop prepping the meal to find an ingredient and then you need time to chop it up. Or, worse, you are missing necessary items to complete your recipe.

Follow this tip: Gather, measure, and prep your ingredients beforehand to make cooking and assembling meals quick and effortless. It takes much less time to prep ingredients than to chop them up as you go along. It also ensures you have the ingredients you need while cooking.

Mistake #10: You use a non-stick pan for everything

Non-stick pans are great for breakfast foods such as eggs, French toast, and pancakes but they don’t get as hot as a regular pan. You cannot properly sear a piece of meat in a nonstick pan, nor will your vegetables get that crispy edge.

Follow this tip: Cook your stir fries, meats, and vegetables in a traditional pan, especially if you desire a crispy texture.

Mistake #11: You don’t allow the meat to rest

Cutting your meat immediately after taking it out of the oven or off the grill allows all the juices to run out; resulting in dry and tough meat.

Follow this tip: Let your steak or chicken breast rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to distribute evenly throughout the meat. A roast, pork loin, or whole chicken will need 20 minutes, so keep it warm by loosely covering with foil.

Mistake #12: You use the same knife for each task

A paring knife is great for smaller vegetables but isn’t up to the task of cutting open a butternut squash. On the other hand, a large knife can be awkward when mincing small items, such as garlic cloves.

Follow this tip: Chose the correct sized knife for the job. You will be more efficient and reduce risk of cutting yourself.

Mistake #13: You didn’t taste the dish as you go

Neglecting to taste the dish can lead to bland, boring food or over-seasoned, inedible food. More than one cook has grabbed salt instead of sugar, used too heavy a hand with spices, or forget to add pepper.

Follow this tip: Taste your dish while cooking to ensure a perfectly seasoned meal. And, please, wash your spoon in between tastes.

Some of these common mistakes are the result of bad habits. By making a few tweaks to your cooking routine, you can serve consistently delicious meals to your family.

Do you have a cooking question? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.

9 Things Not to Do When Starting a New Diet

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Embarking on a new weight-loss plan can be daunting. There are so many different ideas, theories and diet plans, that it can feel impossible to figure out what works best for you. As if that weren’t enough, some TV shows feature extreme weight losses that are nearly impossible for anyone to achieve in real life. By comparison, you may feel disappointed in slower progress with your own weight loss.

Despite all the challenges a new weight-loss plan presents, you can set yourself up for success by having realistic goals and avoiding these very common diet mistakes.

Do not expect instant resultsmaxview

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see big weight loss results each week. According to the CDC, evidence show that it’s safest to lose between 1 to 2 pounds per week. Healthy weight loss is part of an ongoing lifestyle, and it can take time to see results from new diet and exercise habits.

Do not cut out major food groups
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We know there are a lot of gluten-free and dairy-free products out there, but if you don’t suffer from food allergies or sensitivities, you may be missing out on essential nutrients. Cutting out entire food groups can also lead to strong food cravings and binge eating, which would defeat the purpose of eliminating these foods.

Do not skimp on meals snacks

Skipping meals or eating tiny portions may seem like a great way to lose weight, but it can end up leaving you hungry. Feeling hungry can lead to poor food choices or eating too much at your next meal. Instead, opt for 3 balanced meals and 2 or 3 small healthy snacks per day. A good way to understand portion sizes is to measure foods with a kitchen scale, such as our Precision Digital Kitchen Scale. The recessed platform makes it ideal for containing foods when weighing them.

Do not make too many changes at onceegg

It’s tempting to change your diet completely and start a new exercise regimen at the same time. However, making many big changes will feel overwhelming and those new healthy habits will go by the wayside.  Instead, make small changes once a week, such as bringing a healthy lunch to work each day. Once you’ve mastered one new habit, add a new challenge, such as increasing the intensity, or duration, of exercise.

Do not rely on willpower alone
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Willpower is important, but it’s not always reliable when tempting foods are available. It’s especially difficult if you’re hungry or tired. Instead, set yourself up for success by removing the temptation. If you know you can’t resist cookies or chips don’t keep them in the house. If you really want a treat, you’ll have to leave the house to indulge yourself.

Do not cut back on sleep
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Establishing new healthy habits can take extra time out of your day. Don’t cut out sleep so you can exercise or cook healthy meals. A good night’s sleep lets your muscles repair from exercise and helps balance the hormones that regulate hunger. Sleep deprivation can cause you to crave sugary and fatty foods and leave you less inclined to work out.

Do not think that it’s “all or nothing”
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Don’t think that you must do everything perfectly every day or else your diet is ruined. Truthfully, no one is perfect and slip ups do occur. One mistake is not going to wreck your efforts. Learn from what you did, think about how to prevent it in the future, and move on. Your next snack or meal is another chance for success.

Do not perform exercises that you hate
exercise

Don’t choose activities based on how many calories they burn – focus on exercises that you enjoy. When you don’t enjoy your workout, you’ll make excuses to avoid doing it. You’ll stay more consistent if you look forward to your exercise. Not a fan of spin class? Don’t force it. Instead, take a dance class or hit the elliptical machine. With so many varieties of workouts available, find something you enjoy.

Do not forget to yourself accountable
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When you hold yourself accountable, you are more likely to achieve your goals. To help stay on track, you can join a weight loss group, find a diet buddy, or use a diet and fitness app. Regular weigh-ins are another way to hold yourself accountable. Our Precision Plus Digital Bathroom Scale has a roomy platform that allows you to stand comfortably while weighing yourself. The large display has a cool blue backlight that is easy to read.
body fatIf you prefer a scale that provides more data, we recommend our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale. The Body Fat Scale measures weight, body fat, body water, body muscle and bone mass using electrode technology and it beeps when your weight is locked in so you can step off the scale to read it more easily.

For EatSmart approved recipe inspiration, visit the following:

Quick and Easy One-Pot Recipes
Slow Cooker Oatmeal Recipe Round-Up
15 Easy Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
Awesome, Healthy Apple Recipes
Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Easy, No Cooking Required Summer Recipes

Do you have a tip that helped you lose weight? Share it with us by tweeting to @EatSmartscales.

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7 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Measure with a Food Thermometer

7 uses for food thermometers

A food thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking. An instant-read food thermometer can make the difference between a juicy, tender roast and one that is dangerously undercooked or dry and overcooked. There is no telling from the outside whether your meat is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat. Knowing the internal temperature of your food will guarantee that it’s cooked all the way through.

thermometers

Instant-read, digital thermometers, such as our Precision Pro Digital Food Thermometer or our Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer are essential kitchen tools. In fact, they are very versatile and can be used for everyday tasks around the house. We promise you will use a food thermometer more than you ever imagined.

7 reasons you need a digital food thermometer and things you can measure with them:

  1. Ensure food safety – The only way to truly know if your food has reached a safe internal temperature is with a food thermometer. According to the USDA, using the color test is not reliable as meat that has been frozen or stored in the refrigerator can turn brown prematurely. In order to prevent food borne illnesses, you want the meat cooked to at least the minimum amount of doneness. Our Precision Pro Digital Thermometer comes with a handy list of temperatures on its cap.testing hamburgers
  2. Make superior tasting meals – Tired of overcooking chicken? Don’t ruin dinner or a holiday meal with tough, dry meat. Our digital food thermometers will be your secret weapon for cooking consistently amazing meals. Your family and friends will rave over how juicy your turkey is and how the roast was cooked to perfection.chicken
  3. Cook and reheat non-meat dishes to perfection – A food thermometer is not needed just for meat, fish and poultry. Cooked foods such as egg dishes, casseroles, raviolis, leftovers and microwave meals all need to reach a safe internal temperature to prevent food poisoning and uneven heating. Our food thermometers ensure evenly cooked foods.casserole
  4. Prepare baby food correctly – For new moms, warming up baby formula or reheating expressed breastmilk should be a bit below body temperature (98.6 F). Just stick the food thermometer directly into milk or formula.baby
  5. Make delicious candy – The temperature range of our Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer is -40° to 572° Fahrenheit, making it perfect for DIY candy makers. Boiled sugar syrups can measure over 350° F.fudge
  6. Enjoy the perfect bath – Food thermometers can also be used to test the temperature of your bath water. The ideal bath water temperature for adults is about 102° F; three degrees more than the normal body temperature. Baths and showers should never be hotter than 112° F. Babies should be bathed in temperatures around 100° F.bath
  7. Never burn your mouth again – Are you tired of hot coffee burning your mouth? Just place your food thermometer in it! Boiling water (212° F or 100° C) should never be used, as it will burn the drink and your mouth. Even certain teas taste better when seeped at different temperatures.coffee

EatSmart digital food thermometers are great tools to have in your home. With automatic shut-offs, you never have to worry about draining the battery. They are easy to see with bright blue backlit LCD displays and feature readings in both Celsius or Fahrenheit with a resolution of 1 degree Fahrenheit. To learn more about our Precision Elite Thermocouple and our Precision Pro Thermometer, and determine which model is right for you, read our blog post.

Do you have any questions about food thermometers? Please tweet them to us @eatsmartscales.

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uses for food thermometers

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Appetizer and Side Dish Recipes

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Do you have to bring a side dish for Thanksgiving? Did you put off picking out your recipe until the last minute? If you’re still searching for something fun (and healthy) to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, we have picked out several Thanksgiving Appetizers and Side Dishes that are sure to be crowd pleasers!

Loaded Sweet Potato Bites

Loaded Sweet Potato BitesGet the recipe from A Healthy Life For Me.


Parmesan Crusted Baked Zucchini Sticks

parmesan crusted baked zucchini strips

Get the recipe from Closet Cooking.


Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Get the recipe from The Food Charlatan.


Fennel and Pomegranate Quinoa Salad

fennel and pomegranate quinoa salad

Get the recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron.


Easy Garlic Herb Butternut Squash

easy garlic herb butternut squash

Get the recipe from Healthy Seasonal Recipes.


Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles

Feta & Herb Cantaloupe Truffles

Get the recipe from The Fit Fork.


Grain-Free Homestyle Stuffing

grain free stuffing

Get the recipe from Mommypotamus.


Warm Harvest Salad with Honey Walnut Vinaigrette

warm harvest salad

Get the recipe from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.


Sweet Potato Pecan Casserole

sweet potato pecan casserole

Get the recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen.


Cranberry Apple Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf

apple cranberry wild rice pilaf

Get the recipe from Carlsbad Cravings.


Creamy Broccoli Salad

creamy broccoli salad

Get the recipe from Yummy Healthy Easy.


Chipotle Lime Grilled Corn

chipotle lime corn

Get the recipe from Life’s Ambrosia.


Gluten Free Stuffing

gluten free stuffing

Get the recipe from Officially Gluten Free.


Greek Feta, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Pistachio Truffles

feta tomato truffles Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.


Cranberry Baked Brie Puff Pastry Bites

cranberry brie puff pastries

Get the recipe from Well Plated.


Which of these recipes will you try?  Share with us @eatsmartscales.

The Beginner’s Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

beginner's guide to hosting thanksgiving

Is it your turn to host Thanksgiving this year? If hosting a holiday stresses you out, we can help. Whether your dinner is a large family gathering or small get-together, you can pull off a stress-free turkey feast.

We’ve organized our planning tips chronologically, beginning one month from Thanksgiving. By following the right steps, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday – and your company – when the big day arrives.

1 Month Prior

Get a head count. Call or email those on your guest list and see who will be attending. It’s the perfect time to see who will be able to bring a side dish or dessert.

Plan your menu. Are there family favorites that are a “must-have?” Be sure to add those in and any new sides that you might like to try. Don’t forget to include some easy appetizers and beverages.

3 Weeks Prior

Review your recipes. Create a list of what you will need to purchase and what you already have. This is the time to see if you need to order any specialty items. If you plan on having a fresh turkey, order it now.

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Check your cooking supplies. Do you have the necessary pans and tools to make the day go as smoothly as possible? Our Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale makes it easy to measure recipe ingredients for a crowd. Plus, the handy tare feature allows you to use one bowl rather than having to wash several measuring cups and spoons. Are the batteries working in your Precision Pro Digital Food Thermometer?

2 Weeks Prior

pie crustPrep dough for pies and rolls. Are you planning on baking pies or rolls? Make batches of pie dough, wrap tightly, and freeze. Make rolls in advance, freeze, and defrost Thanksgiving morning.

Decide on set up. Will you do a buffet or a sit down dinner? Knowing this lets you plan your set up and décor for the day.

Pick up beverages. This is the time to pick up wine, beer, liquor, and soft drinks. They can be stored without being refrigerated.

1 Week Prior

Go food shopping. Pick up your turkey and non-perishable items, including paper goods and baking supplies, a week prior. Perishable items, such as fresh produce, can be picked up a couple of days before Thanksgiving.

Buy some containers. Have inexpensive containers on hand if you plan on sending your guests home with leftovers. Don’t hand out your favorite storage containers since you may not get them back!

Make soup and broth. Planning on a non-dairy soup course or need stock for your meal? Make it now and freeze until Tuesday, allowing enough time to thaw.

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Make a cooking plan. Figure out which dishes can be made in advance and how long dishes need to be cooked or reheated on Thanksgiving Day. Do you know how long your turkey will take? It takes about 13 minutes of cooking time for every pound of turkey. Our Precision Elite Thermocouple Food Thermometer gives you an accurate temperature reading in seconds, so you know when your turkey is perfectly cooked.

3 – 4 Days Prior

Defrost your turkey. It takes 24 hours for 5 lbs of turkey to defrost in the refrigerator. If you choose to defrost the bird in cold water estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb. You will need to change the water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey cold.

2 Days Prior

pieMake pies. Get your pie filling together and fill your crusts. Wrap and set in your fridge until Wednesday.

Clean the house. Don’t wait until the last minute to straighten your house, or you will be too exhausted to enjoy the holiday.

Defrost frozen items. Put frozen items in your fridge so they are defrosted for when you need them.

The Day Beforechop veggies

Prep ingredients for tomorrow. Wash and chop vegetables, salad fixings, and herbs in advance.

Make your side dishes. Make and cook any sides that will keep overnight, then reheat them tomorrow.

Bake pies. You’ll be glad you did the prep work yesterday – just pop them right in the oven!

Bake desserts. If you’re making brownies, cake or cookies, get this done the day before.

Set the table. You can assign a family member to do this for you. Take a quick walk through to make sure the house looks the way you want it to.

Thanksgiving Day

Preheat your oven and cook the turkey. It’s time! Depending on the size of the turkey, it could need anywhere from 2.75 hours to 5.25 hours of cook time. Use this guide from Real Simple.

dinner rolls

Defrost the rolls. Leave them on the counter until they are ready to go in the oven.

Chill beverages. Put wine and soft drinks in the fridge to chill.

Prep salads. Toss your freshly chopped vegetables with other salad fixings in a large serving dish.

Reheat the sides. Once your turkey is finished, let it rest while you reheat side dishes and make the gravy.

The Day After

Take a rest and enjoy your leftovers. Pop on Netflix and try this Thanksgiving Turkey Soup. It’s a great way to use and enjoy your leftovers in new way.

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thanksgiving cooking checklist

Do you have favorite tips for Thanksgiving? Tweet them to us at @EatSmartScales.

Easy Ways to Walk 10,000 Steps a Day

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Walking can help lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, maintain fitness levels, and lead to weight loss. Unlike more complicated exercise programs, walking is inexpensive, easy to do, safe for almost everyone, and you can do it pretty much anywhere. The Surgeon General recommends adults walk at least 10k steps a day or five miles a day (2,000 steps covers roughly one mile). However, with desk jobs and hectic schedules, most of us are only walking between 4,000 and 6,000 steps per day.

Here are some simple ways to get more movement during your average day. Don’t forget to wear your activity tracker!

  • Start your day off with short walk.
  • Walk the kids to and from school or their bus stop.
  • Skip the elevator or escalator and opt for the stairs.
  • Take a stroll during the second half of your lunch break.
  • Pace back and forth while talking on the phone.
  • Park your car on the opposite end of the lot for some extra steps. If you have extra time, walk a lap around the lot for some bonus steps.
  • Play with your kids. Create family activity time and play ball, have a dance contest, or hold back yard races.
  • Get off the couch. Walk around the house or march in place during commercials.
  • Skip the phone call. Instead of calling your friend to catch up, meet her for a walk instead.
  • Walk while the kids have sports or dance practice, rather than sitting and waiting for them.

Compiling steps in small increments throughout the day is more manageable than trying to do 10,000 in one long walk. If you are still wondering how you’ll reach 10,000 steps in an average day, here are some examples that would add approximately 6,000 steps to your daily routine.

Start the day with a quick 5-minute walk. You can walk the kids to the bus stop or take a stroll around the block. Total: 500 steps

Need to catch up on phone calls? Take a 10-minute walk and return those calls. Better yet, meet your friend and take a walk to catch up.  Total: 1,000 steps

Walk on your lunch break. A 15-minute walk at a brisk pace can help clear your head and reduce work stress. Total: 1,700 steps

After dinner, get the family together, including your dog, and take a 20-minute walk. You can talk about each other’s day while getting some exercise and fresh air. Warm up with an easy pace for 5-minutes (500 steps), walk briskly for 10-minutes (1,350 steps) and then cool down with an easy pace for 5-minutes (500 steps). Total: 2,350 steps

Doing all of these activities will give you a total of 6,050 extra steps per day!

PRO TIPS: Always try to have 2,500 steps before you leave for work or school. As you work to increase your activity levels, start slowly and build up until you reach your goals. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and end your walk with a few gentle stretches to avoid strains and injuries.

Top 3 EatSmart Bathroom Scales to Compliment Your Walking Plan

Do you need additional motivation or support to stick with a walking plan? Monitoring your weight at home with a bathroom scale can help keep you on track with your health and fitness goals.3-scales-for-weightloss

#1 Track your fitness with our Precision Body Fat Bathroom Scale. In addition to monitoring weight, it also measures body fat, body water, muscle mass, and other important health metrics. The daily caloric intake feature calculates how many calories are needed to maintain your weight. esbs_55-scale

#2 Looking to lose weight? The Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale will keep you motivated. It displays the users’ current weight, weight change from the previous weigh in and total change from starting weight. The unique touch screen interface and automatic user recognition make it very user friendly.

eatsmart-precision-tracker-digital-scale-in-use

PC: simmworksfamily.com

#3 Stay on target with our new Precision Choice Digital Bathroom Scale. When your weight is locked in, the Precision Choice will beep allowing you to step off the scale and easily view the display read out. Very easy to use, simply step on and it accurately weighs up to 400 lbs within seconds.lcd_screen_bathroomscale_precision_choice

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how-to-walk-more

What are your favorite ways to get your steps in? Tweet them to us @EatSmartScales.

 

Charity of the Month – The Rose

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2016. 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.the rose logoWe’ve selected the The Rose as our charity of the month for October to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The Rose Mission Statement:

The Rose reduces deaths from breast cancer by providing access to screening, diagnostics, and treatment services to any woman regardless of her ability to pay.The Rose addresses any barrier that might keep a woman from caring for her own needs.  Studies show women often put personal needs on hold while tending to the needs of others. Many women cite cost and lack of access as reasons they delay preventive services. Yet, early detection mammography screenings are the most powerful weapons in the fight against breast cancer – which is 98% curable when detected early. For the woman who puts everyone else ahead of her own care, The Rose encourages her to take care of Me2.

Every service offered by The Rose is available to the uninsured through one of many sponsorship programs. In fact the whole purpose of the Empower Her® Sponsorship Program is to ensure any woman has access to breast cancer screening, diagnosis and care. From the initial screening mammogram, through diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound and biopsies as well as access to treatment — all are part of the “quality breast health care” offered at The Rose.

Same day diagnosis, special programs for young women, on-site physicians dedicated to breast health care, advanced digital technology — all reflect The Rose’s emphasis on quality and excellence. The Rose collaborates with the best medical organizations in Texas and reach women from Matagorda to Shelby Counties.

For every new Facebook Fan we (EatSmartProducts) acquire during the month of October, we will donate 50 cents/follower to The Rose. (So spread the word!)

Click below, follow us and EatSmart will donate!

charity of the month - october - the rose

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

Why You Should Start a Home Fitness Routine

workout-at-home

There are only so many hours in a day. Between work, school, and family life, it’s hard to find time to drive to the gym, change, workout, shower, and drive home.  Plus, it’s difficult to leave the house once you get home from work, especially if the weather is bad or you have a family dinner to cook. Is it possible to have an effective workout at home? The answer is a resounding yes!

Follow these tips for successful home workouts:

Make it fit your schedule

If you only have 15 or 20 minutes, use that time effectively and get a quick strength or cardio session. In fact, 7 minutes is enough time for a legitimate workout, just ask The Huffington Post!

PRO TIP: To make this a priority, schedule it into your calendar the night before.

Roll out of bed and workout

You don’t have to worry about what you look like or if your clothes match. Set up the equipment you need the night before, head out of the bedroom and start moving.

Be the DJ

Music is a big motivator, and you can choose whatever gets you moving or helps you relax. Since you’re in control, play your music as loud, or soft, as you wish. mobile-phone-iphone-music-38295

Catch up on a favorite show

At home, you can watch something live, a DVR-ed show, or catch up on a Netflix series while working out.home-workout-tips

No more forgotten items

It’s frustrating when you get to the gym only to discover you forgot water, music, or your sneakers. Exercising at home means you always have everything you need on hand.

The options are endless

If you need extra motivation or direction, you can watch exercise videos on DVD, on-demand via cable, or online. Popular online options include Grokker, Daily Burn, and Greatist’s The Best Free Workout Videos on YouTube.

Workout with your kids

When you’re stuck in the house with little ones, get them involved with your exercise routine and have some fun. This super Dad didn’t have to choose exercise or spending time with his kids, he did both at once!
pushups with family

No crowds

It’s annoying when you can’t find an open treadmill or the class you want to attend is packed. At home, you don’t have to fight for floor space or share equipment.

No intimidation factor

It can be intimidating to workout with people who are faster or more fit than you.  It can be beneficial to go at your own pace and get the most out of your routine without comparing yourself to others. home-workout-kettlebell

Change the view

Tired of looking at your living room or basement? Take your routine outside and soak in the greenery and fresh air. Also, a tough workout can feel less intense when done on soft ground rather than a hard floor.backyard-workout

Take a boutique class virtually

Many boutique fitness studios and some gyms now offer live-stream classes. You can get the instructors prompts as if you were actually in the class.

Pick your intensity

Working out at home is not choosing the easy option. It’s just as easy to slack off in the gym. Put in the effort and you will see the results.

You can track your weight loss progress with our Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale. It tracks your original starting weight, weight change from your most recent weigh-in and your current weight.eatsmart-precision-tracker-bathroomscale

For those who are looking for more information, such as muscle mass, body fat, and BMI, we recommend our Body Check Body Fat Digital Scale.ESP_bodycheck_less20

Both scales are great accountability buddies and will help monitor your health and fitness journey at home.

Do you have a favorite home workout? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.

Healthy Picnic Recipes

ESP_healthy_picnic_recipes_pinterestThere is something fun about eating al fresco on warm summer days. However, it might be a challenge to come up with foods that are delicious, healthy and easy to transport. If you’re looking for inspiration beyond a sandwich and a bag of chips, we have found that balance with the following portable picnic recipes. They are easy to make, taste great and are sure to become your new go-to picnic items.


Strawberry Watermelon Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette
Watermelon-Strawberry-Salad-with-Honey-Lime-Vinaigrette_Giggles-Galore

Get the recipe from Giggles Galore.


Honey Lavender Lemonade
honey-lavender-lemonade Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds.


Homemade Pico de Gallo
pico-de-galloGet the recipe from Coffee Cake and Cardio.


Spiralized Carrot Salad with Lemon Ginger Dressing
Carrot-Salad-with-Lemon-Ginger-Dressing-3Get the recipe from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen.


Grilled Corn, Tomato Arugula Salad
roasted-corn-690-7Get the recipe from Seasons and Suppers.


Sausage and Pineapple Party Bites
Sausage-and-Pineapple-Party-Bites-77Get the recipe from Noshtastic.


Pecan Grape Chicken Salad Sandwich
Pecan-Grape-Chicken-Salad-Recipe-2Get the recipe from Wishes and Dishes.


Southwest Chicken Salad
Southwest-Chicken-Salad-1Get the recipe from Catz in the Kitchen.


Spicy Avocado Chickpea Salad Sandwich
chickpea-avocado-sandwich-9065Get the recipe fromVegan Richa.


Fudgy Dark Chocolate Frosted Brownies
fudgy-dark-chocolate-frosted-brownies_4358-cropped
Get the recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking.


Do you have a favorite picnic recipe that you want to share? Tweet it to us at @eatsmartscales.

Charity of the Month – Play Like a Girl

EatSmart fans will continue to select a Charity of the Month in 2016. 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. We’ve chosen Play Like a Girl! as our charity for August because we’ve been inspired by the 2016 Olympics and the female athletes competing.

play like a girl

About Play Like a Girl!:

Our mission is to advance the health and empowerment of women and girls through the transformative power of sport and physical activity.

Click here to visit their website.

For every new Instagram follower we acquire during the month of August, we will donate 50 cents/follower to the Play Like a Girl! (So spread the word!)

Click here and EatSmart will donate:

play like a girl

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

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