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Kid-Approved Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese Launches ‘Pimp That Recipe’ Makeover Series

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

The idea behind most recipe makeovers is to take out or replace the “naughty” foods with “lighter” versions in order to reduce the big numbers from calories and fat. While reducing numbers is a piece of the health puzzle it doesn’t tell the whole story. Specifically since high fat/high calorie items are frequently replaced with chemically processed or highly processed “lite” versions which leaves a recipe that, quite frankly, can have a negative impact on your overall health.

This recipe makeover, however, is based on a non-reductive food philosophy; one that doesn’t just rely on taking high calorie foods OUT but focuses on adding the right foods IN. Adding in real whole foods, clean foods, foods as close to nature as possible.

So off we go with a new way of re-doing recipes. Pimp That Recipe will take your favorite comfort foods and upgrade them to a new, wholly health supportive, nourishing, satiating, and delicious version. Surely you’re on board with that!

Pimp That Recipe Mission 1: Macaroni and Cheese

I am jumping right out of the gate with a tough one. Macaroni and cheese is delicious. There, I said it. I understand why many of my clients are in love with this rich, creamy indulgence. But, holy cow traditional macaroni and cheese is not a waist-friendly food. It typically weighs in at 600 calories and 30 grams of fat per serving, with very little micro-nutrients to speak of. Additionally, the standard white pasta and heavy dairy will wreak havoc on gut health, blood sugar stabilization, and your body’s ability to effectively burn fat. Let’s turn this yummy delight into a health friendly, (yet delicious) masterpiece. Shall we?
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World’s Biggest Cheeseburger Breaks Records and Calorie Limits

There are some pretty crazy, weird and interesting records in The Guinness Book of World Records. This past Labor Day weekend, a ridiculous world record was broken when Minnesota’s Black Bear Casino made the world’s biggest hamburger. Why did the casino decide to make a colossal hamburger? They would say, just for the fun of it.

As reported by, Jerry Bayerl – Black Bear Casino’s executive chef – recently decided he wanted to make the world’s biggest burger.

At first, he thought the record for the biggest burger was 200 pounds, but after some extensive research he found out the previous record for the world’s biggest burger was 881 pounds. In order to secure the new title, Jerry made sure his bacon cheeseburger clocked in at an amazing 2,014 pounds!

Cooking the cheeseburger was no easy feat. It required a crane, parking lot, and a gigantic homemade oven.

The diameter of the buns and meat patty measured up to a total of 10 feet. It took seven hours to bake the bun and four hours to cook and flip the meat patty. Stacked on top of the patty was even more ingredient madness. There were 60 pounds of bacon, 50 pounds of lettuce, 50 pounds of sliced unions, 40 pounds of pickles and 40 pounds of cheese. 
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Medifast Introduces Mocha Shake, Berry Crunch Cereal and Other New Meal Options

Dr. William Vitale developed Medifast in the 1980s. Since then, many other physicians have recommended the program to more than one million customers. As reported by RedOrbit News, Medifast recently introduced new types of cereal, cheese puffs, and shakes to the market. The new meal options are designed for weight loss and portion control, similar to the other meals Medifast currently offers.

Mixed Berry and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cereal Crunch are two new breakfast items. The Mixed Berry Cereal Crunch contains 100 calories per serving with 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, and 150 mg of sodium.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cereal Crunch contains 100 calories per serving with 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, and 140 mg of sodium. When compared, the Mixed Berry and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch contain about the same amount of vitamins and minerals, but the Cinnamon Brown Sugar flavor has slightly less sodium.

Medifast has also introduced new cheese puffs, which include Parmesan and Chili Nacho Cheese flavors. The cheese puffs are a great way to indulge in cheesy goodness without tipping the scale on calories.

Medifast’s Chili Nacho Cheese Puffs contain 110 calories per serving with 0 grams of trans fat, 1 gram of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, and 360 mg of sodium. They also contain 20 percent of the daily requirement of vitamins A and C.
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The Scientific Quest for a “Healthy” Cheese Leaves us Flavorless

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

In a world of endless food “science” it isn’t terribly surprising that even the mighty cheese is subject to investigation, processing, and testing in an attempt to create a cheese-like-food-product that scientists will deem “healthier” by reducing sodium and fat. In this never ending quest to make all food “diet worthy” and eternal dieters “happy” there is no food spared from their turn in the science wheel. Yet, each time we’ve attempted to replace a natural, whole food with a processed version of the food the results of “health” have not exactly worked out.

Case in point: changing butter to margarine. The partially hydrogenated fats that were originally thought to be much healthier then butter’s saturated fat have since proved to be the exact opposite. Why would a “new” cheese be any better?

The average American consumes nearly 30 pounds of cheese per year; that is an awful lot of fat and salt. But, cheese is so much more than a block of fat and salt, it has a story, a life, a history.

If you have ever spent time with a cheese expert or any amount of time in a real cheese haven like Murray’s cheese shop in New York City, you may have been graced with some of the history and story behind cheese. Stories of generations of sheep farmers in France creating glorious cheese from humble resources, or small American artisinal cheese makers who, with a much shorter history of cheese making, are taking this culinary world by storm. Cheese has been consumed as a traditional food in many cultures for literally thousands and thousands of years, and yet it is just in the last 50+ years that we are seeing the steep decline in the health of people. It makes us ask, is cheese really to blame?
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How to Cook with Goat Cheese

By now you’ve likely seen goat cheese on salads in fancy restaurants and in the dairy aisle at your local grocery store. But have you ever seen it in ice cream, pizza or on a tart? Perhaps you have, but these were little food discoveries that I was thrilled to stumble upon as I love the tangy flavor and creamy texture of this little-known cheese.

Health benefits: The health benefits of goat cheese are plenty, the first and most obvious being its calcium content. Health experts suspect that our body uses calcium to burn off fat after meals. And it’s well known that calcium helps maintain the strength and density of our bones. Calcium can play a role in various body functions such as muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation, and it’s even been linked to potentially preventing migraines.

Goat cheese is also high in phosphorus, vitamin B2, potassium and vitamin A. And according to Bellchevre, it contains 27 percent more of the antioxidant selenium than cow’s milk!

In addition, goat cheese is considered the ‘skinnier’ cheese as it’s much lower in fat and calories than other cheeses, such as brie and cheddar.
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