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Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins: Clean Eating Dessert That’s Entirely Decadent

crustless-pumpkin-pie-muffins

The holidays are here and that means we get to feast! Whether you do so mindfully or mindlessly, the point is to enjoy the time, the family, and definitely the food.

I LOVE sweets, however I don’t love how I feel afterwards. This means that some of my greatest ingenuity in the kitchen happens while trying to create desserts that still taste sinful without punishing my tummy later on. And this becomes especially necessary during Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season.

Enter: the Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins. This quintessential holiday dessert does not need to be on your “No-no” list this year. I have adapted this recipe from 58 Day Dreams into a cleaner more health-friendly version. Why wait until New Year’s to start eating right again?

mini-pumpkin-pie-muffins

My favorite way to watch portions with most delectable treats is to make mini versions, and in this case that’s mini muffin pies. I often find that those few bites are enough to satisfy me for the rest of the night.
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The 16 Most Hilariously Terrifying Holiday Fitness Stock Photos

holiday-stock-photos

I’d like to sit in on the photoshoot brainstorming where someone sees a need for poorly dressed, overly excitable models to pose for completely unrealistic holiday pictures. We’ve consolidated the 16 best (or worst) images (17 if you count the thumbs-up weight loss gal) so that you can join us in shuddering to some pure unadulterated what the Frosty is going on here confusion. Try to focus on happy sugar plums or sing a line of “Jingle Bells” if necessary…

 

Ho-ho-hold on a second. I don’t want anyone like this sliding down my chimney.

1 santa barbell

Because one creepy Santa photo isn’t enough.

3 santa weights

Help your kids eat more veggies by putting a terrifying Santa on top! A day’s worth of vitamins with a side of nightmares.

4 santa veggies
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Cozy Winter Dinner for Four: Turkey and Herb Stuffed Acorn Squash

turkey-acorn-squash

Some (huge) part of me loves hunkering down for the cooler months. This season mean more time by the fire, with a book, wearing cozy sweaters, and playing board games. Maybe this means I’m secretly an 85-year-old woman living in a millennial’s body, but maybe I’m OK with that.

One of my favorite parts of fall and winter is spending time in the kitchen creating wholesome, seasonal recipes. I love all of the winter vegetables and making “comfort food” that won’t ruin my wellness goals — like these fall comfort foods for vegetarians. My household tries to avoid excessive grain consumption, and increased veggies, the result being my favorite format of dinners: stuffed anything. Stuffed zucchini, butternut squash, these stuffed kale and bean sweet potatoes — name the veggie and I’ve packed it with goodies and served it as a meal.

acorn-squash

So then I tried to include the much less popular cousin of the beloved butternut or spaghetti squash, and experimented with acorn squash. It is perfect for a foggy fall night and lasts forever to make GREAT leftovers — even served cold! Plus, acorn squash is more nutrient-dense than any of its other summer squash relatives. Score!

stuffed-acorn-squash

Acorn squash is loaded with vitamin C to boost the immune system, vitamin A for healthy vision and skin, and has more than 9 grams of dietary fiber! This is more than one-third of the daily requirement and helps to regulate blood sugar, diabetes, and digestion. Plus, hello, isn’t she so pretty?

To choose a ripe acorn squash, look for one with a dark green color, with a small patch of yellow or orange. The skin should be hard and the stem slightly withered.

acorn-squashes

For this recipe, slice the squash lengthwise, brush with olive oil and dust with nutmeg. Remember a little bit of this powerful autumnal spice goes a long way!

I chose to stuff the squash with ground turkey, as it is leaner than red meat and the subtler flavor lets the squash taste take center stage! Like all of my recipes, this is extremely forgiving in what you choose to throw in to the stuffing mixture. Consider adding red and green bell peppers, chopped onions, or sun-dried tomatoes. Those are some of my favorite bonus additions when I have them lying around the house.

minced-garlic-and-herbs

But for the purposes of guiding you on a ready-to-follow recipes with little improvisation needed, I’ve literally stuffed this recipe with some of the best natural flavor agents around. Minced garlic and onion, sweet raisins, and a trio of fresh herbs like parsley, basil, and thyme. The aroma before you even start roasting will fill your senses and boost your anticipation of this meal.

stuffed-turkey-acorn-squash

As always, I’d suggest tossing any almost-moldy greens into the mixture right at the very end so they wilt slightly and blend in with the other flavors. I’m always looking for ways to hide any extra veggies!

If your tummy and nutritional choices allow, you may even want to top with crumbled feta cheese before drizzling with balsamic vinegar and serving for an extra flavor boost!

And one more favorite preparation tip? I’ve made this with sweet potato flesh combined with the turkey mixture. Having both acorn and sweet potato together makes it extra yummy!

Turkey and Herb Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise with seeds removedacorn-squash-stuffed-turkey

1 lb. ground turkey

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, minced

16 oz. baby spinach

3 celery stalks, chopped

1/4 cup raisins

1 tsp. parsley, chopped

1 tsp. thyme, chopped

1/2 tsp. basil, chopped

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

2+ tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter or coconut oil

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position. While it warms, brush the squash lightly with olive oil and dust with nutmeg. Place squash, cut-side up, on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Brown the ground turkey. Add the diced onion, garlic, and celery, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes until soft.

3. Stir in herbs, spices, and raisins. Add spinach and wilt 2-3 minutes. Add in butter or coconut oil and combine over medium heat.

4. Spoon filling into acorn squash and roast for 20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.


ALSO TRY THESE PERFECT FALL MEALS

Twice-Baked Shepherd’s Pie

Whole Wheat Chicken Pot Pie

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese


Recipe by Katie McGrath; Photos by Kacy Meinecke for DietsInReview.com



The Pegan Diet Dr. Mark Hyman and I Live By: Are You a Paleo-Vegan?

pegan-diet

As a health coach, it is my job to help guide my clients to find the best way of eating for them. A common response is, “Well, what works for you? How do you eat?” I struggle with this because I don’t want them to be subliminally influenced by my choices, but also because it never quite had a label. I have created some sort of hybrid diet that my body happens to thrive on. Lots of vegetables, nuts/seeds, good fats, some fruits, no dairy, minimal grains if possible, and mindfully sourced protein from both animals and plants.

It’s not quite paleo, and it’s not quite vegan. I had been calling it Plant-Based Paleo…but only in my own head.

Imagine my surprise when holistic physician and public health figure Dr. Mark Hyman — a regular columnist for the Huffington Post and contributor to the Katie Couric Show — posts an article to his website saying that he is Pegan a kind of hybridized version of paleo and vegan. Ha! I now feel strangely validated.
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Kids and Adults Reveal Very Different Answers When Asked What They Would Change About Their Bodies

If someone asked you to name one thing you could change about your body, what would your answer be? Chances are you wouldn’t need much time to respond. We delegate a whole lot of energy towards scrutinizing our flaws, so your answer may come easier than most.

What would kids say if you asked them the same question?

In a recently released video, named “Comfortable,” filmmakers asked this one question to 50 people, kids and adults alike. Adults quickly retorted with responses like “Only one?!” while the kids had to think a little longer to let their imaginations run wild. The film was created by the non-profit Jubilee Project in efforts to help people feel confident in their own skin.

Grown women and men would change things like their big forehead, or “stretch marks after having a baby.”

Children, after a few minutes of hmmm-ing and shrugging their shoulders came up with suggestions like “you know, have a mermaid tail.”
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