A new trend is officially gaining steam: Healthy Birthday Celebrations! When it come time to blow out the candles, it seems like boozing and binging are out and exercise and eating well are in.
To be fair, this could be a sign of being a certain number of years out of college, but I don’t think getting older is the only thing at work here. It’s probably about getting wiser too. I have definitely noticed an increase in the healthier birthday party: For my roommate’s birthday a year or two ago, we all woke up at six in the morning to go on a group run. We spent the rest of the day antique shopping, walking around town (even more exercise), and ended the night with a glass of champagne each.
That’s right. Birthdays do not have to be about totally throwing your healthy lifestyles out the window. Here are some fabulous (and yes, still really fun!) ideas for a more adult birthday party. Enjoy!
Fitness Class Fun
Yoga, Zumba, Indoor Cycling, Pilates, ballet, kickboxing?! There are so many different exercise classes that are an extremely good time—why not bring your friends? Your birthday wish can (and should!) absolutely revolve around getting your best pals to join the fitness class you love. A lot of gyms and fitness centers have group rates or bring-a-friend prices, so definitely take advantage of them. What better way to start a new year in your life than with a little healthy sweat alongside your best friends?
Group Run Get-Together
Similarly, a nice group run is a wonderful way to set yourself up for success. Start your special day off right with a gorgeous run outdoors. Yes, gyms are great, and treadmills are good for your joints, but Vitamin D is important and it’s a lot more fun to run en masse in a park or along a trail. You can even theme the run. How fun would it be to run with birthday hats on or along a trail of landmarks from your childhood? Make it a little more interesting and your friends will definitely be in.
Has this been the longest winter ever? It’s starting to feel like it. Currently it’s a -21 wind chill outside and I’m starting to convince myself the sun may never come back; summer will always be a distant fond memory.
Like S’mores. That little campfire treat is one time I put my guard all the way down and say screw it! Gooey marshmallows, melty chocolate (I always splurge and use dark chocolate), and that crispy little graham cracker turn any dull summer night in to an instant memory maker. And right now, as I watch another winter storm swirl around the backyard, I’m clinging to those sweet memories of last summer to keep me warm.
Another way to keep warm? Baking, duh! All that batter beating and pre-heating turns the kitchen in to a little den of coziness. A den of coziness with cupcakes!
And not just any cupcakes, but big, fat S’more cupcakes.
And not frosted with just any frosting, but big dollops of homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Winter just became manageable, folks. (more…)
My daughter is turning three this week. As any mother can attest, I just can’t understand where the time has gone. She’s smart, sassy, full of song, and has been waiting for her birthday for months. With no prompting she has provided constant reminders of her wish for birthday hats, balloons (one of each color), and a cake (with fire on top) for months. I was happy to finally oblige with all three this weekend.
The cake, of course, is the centerpiece of any birthday party. But I’m also that mom and sugar is a rare treat in our house – birthdays being a reasonable exception. Still, I didn’t want to overload her, myself, or our guests with a sugar bomb topped with more fat and sugar in the frosting. So, I shared my vision for a fresh, homemade, but easier-on-the-sugar cake with our assistant editor and resident baker extradordinaire, Dana.
This Strawberry Lemonade Cake was a hit! It was rich and dense like a restaurant or bakery cake, but felt clean, light, and perfectly sweet. That’s because we didn’t use any butter and went light on the sugar, but made up for it with honey and fresh strawberries. (more…)
For some, indulging in King Cake on Mardi Gras is well-worth the calories, particularly if sweets are something one is giving up for Lent. However, there are some creative ways to save on calories that are in keeping with the festive spirit of the holiday. Below are some ideas and lower-cal recipes to consider before you bake a cake with 250 to 500 calories per serving.
Calorie Saving Swaps
Former Biggest Loser contestant Heba Salama suggests having a healthier Fat Tuesday by making your King Cake with an angel food cake and frozen low-calorie whipped topping. “To make it a layered cake simply slice the cake in half, spread whipped topping down the middle, re-stack and keep cool until ready to serve,” she recommends. You can use food coloring to add the right colors without adding more sugar.
If King Cake just isn’t right to you without puff pastry and cream cheese, use these healthy swaps in any King Cake recipe. “You could replace nonfat Greek Yogurt for the sour cream and use four egg whites instead of the two eggs and use skim milk in the icing,” says Alison Lewis, cookbook author and president of Ingredients, Inc. “If a recipe calls for cream cheese, the light one-third less fat cream cheese is a great substitute.”