The best part of waking up is oatmeal in my daughter’s bowl. The morning is the most routine part of her day and she sticks by it with military precision. This is her own doing. She rises at 8, requests a bowl of oatmeal, and then gets dressed. Every single day. Her penchant for oatmeal used to be a sticking point for us; I had to boil the water and prep the oatmeal from scratch. This wasn’t feasible every morning.
Have you looked at microwave oatmeals? Honestly, they’re gross — at least to me! For something so pure and natural, most of those boxes read like a chemistry experiment. So we reserved oatmeal for the mornings I had time to make the real thing. Until I discovered Better Oats Raw Pure & Simple Oatmeal. I swear this isn’t sponsored; my endorsement is as organic as the oats themselves! I found it on the shelf at my Kroger one day, and at $1.99 per eight-count box, I couldn’t afford not to stock up. Now it’s a staple on the grocery list and for six months my daughter has had a bowl of this oatmeal every single morning.
Each pouch is filled with raw, pure oats and a blend of quinoa, flax, and barley. We buy the “Bare” — just plain Jane oatmeal. It takes two minutes to prepare: Oats in the bowl, water, microwave for 1:45, and serve. We’ve found that using a little less water than recommended and cooking for less time gives a thicker oatmeal, which my kiddo prefers.
What she actually ends up eating is anything but plain Jane. She has a standard recipe that we abide by: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, fresh fruit. (more…)
Raise your hand if you’re not looking for something refreshing to drink right now? Cruising in to the hottest weeks of summer, “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” should be the motto of every one of us. Yes, even a couch potato dehydrates in these hot temps, and if you’re actually prone to moving your body and regular bouts of exercise, then a water glass should always be raised to your mouth.
But water’s boring and bland and blah, blah blah. I feel ‘ya. Iced tea is my go-to drink in the summer. Yes, it counts as water. However, the caffeine can be counterproductive as it’s a diuretic.
This Rhubarb Iced Tea is as easy as a summer breeze, hydrates as well as any plain ‘ole glass of water, and is naturally caffeine free. You’re saying ahhhhhh! before the first sip, right? (more…)
Few things smell better than a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven. (Cinnabon continues to bank on this one basic fact!) That’s one of the reasons I avoid a certain bakery in my neighborhood. Even walking in front of the building makes my mouth water—the cinnamon rolls smell (and taste!) that good.
But sometimes I give in, as I did earlier this week. The sweet scent was just too good to pass up. Of course, this came at a cost. Like, a really big cost: 620 delicious calories, to be exact, which is higher than pretty much any other treat I’ve learned how to burn off—even donuts and biscuits and gravy.
So, how could I help rid my body of the extra 620 calories?
I could have done hot yoga for 149 minutes. (Okay scratch that—I can barely stand 60 minutes in that heat!)
For the people of Portland, OR, this past Friday was a snow day. We received 5 or so inches of snow—more than has fallen on the city in the past several years—which effectively shut down schools, businesses, transportation, and more. However here’s a sad truth: Freelancers don’t get snow days. We’re like the postal service: Rain, snow, sleet, flu… we’re prepared to stamp our timecards and get the job done. And there was a job to be done: The Biggest Loser season 15 grand finale had taken place earlier in the week and our site was still flooded with traffic from people interested in hearing what the trainers had to say about the whole debacle. To make the day a little sweeter I decided to start my morning with a cinnamon roll. Not a monstrous Cinnabon-style treat. Just a small pastry from a neighborhood bakery.
My neighbors might be skiing around the block (seriously) and sledding down their sloped driveways, but I was enjoying a little of the white stuff (frosting!) too. (more…)
Waking up to pancakes, French toast, or waffles in my house is a staple of the weekend. My soon-to-be three-year-old daughter asks to make pancakes most mornings of the week and every day I have to sadly decline. I make up for it by giving her a frozen waffle so we can all eat and get out the door. But she knows when it’s Saturday and she expects bowls full of batter and big drizzly pours of honey.
I would alternate between the Van’s or Earth’s Best frozen waffles. They’re both organic, whole grain, have a few bites of blueberries, and taste really good. They both also run almost four dollars for six waffles. Lately I’ve been trying to make more of our own bread and homemade salad dressing to save money and ensure we’re eating the best quality food. I figured the waffles would fit right in there andI was right. (more…)
We are off today celebrating the Christmas holiday with our families and friends. If you’re stopping by DietsInReview today, we want to say welcome and thank you! Each of the millions of people who visit us each month have made our fifth year an exciting one, not to mention a successful one. We appreciate you and hope you’ll drop by often in 2013, too!
While we’re kicking up our feet and enjoying a little downtime, we wanted to share our 2012 holiday card with you! It’s not just any card with well wishes for the season and new year, it comes with a pretty fantastic treat that we dreamed up. Flip the card over (or in this case, keep reading) and you’ll find one of our most unique recipe creations ever … the Hasselback Apple Crisp!
We figured the potato couldn’t be having all the fun with this trendy slicing method and applied it to our favorite fall fruit – the apple. Use any apple you like, we prefer Honeycrisp and Granny Smith. (more…)
It finally felt like fall this weekend. I hope it did where you are, too! I spotted patches of red and orange in otherwise bright green trees. We lit a fire inside and even needed hoodies to go outside. For the first time since the official first day of fall, it felt crunchy. That’s my word to describe fall – crunchy. Which is appropriate, because one of my favorite fall snacks is popcorn.
My other favorite fall flavor is cinnamon. I don’t care if it’s on a cinnamon roll, toast, oatmeal, cookies, applesauce, topping my yogurt, or wafting from a candle, my nose simply cannot get enough of this scent. So on a recent trip to the McCormick spice headquarters, as part of the Fitbloggin’ conference, outside of Baltimore, Maryland, I found myself in cinnamon-loving heaven.
We went through some of their consumer research experiments, one of which had us tasting traditional ground cinnamon next to Saigon cinnamon. I would have said cinnamon is cinnamon before that afternoon. But the ground cinnamon that I add to French toast every Saturday morning suddenly tasted like red hots candies compared to the earthy, warm, woodsy flavor that came from the McCormick Saigon cinnamon. I fell in love with cinnamon all over again.
As soon as I returned home, making something with that cinnamon was all I could think about. With the fall season in full swing, and McCormick encouraging us to freshen up one of our recipes, the only logical choice was marrying cinnamon and popcorn. Maybe some raisins, too. Cinnamon Raisin Popcorn sounds like a pretty incredible fall snack, doesn’t it? (more…)
R3 Flat Belly Shot is touted as a 100 percent organic, chemical-free, natural herbal supplement that helps people lose weight. Producers of the supplement claim that the weight is lost primarily in the belly region, which is a trouble zone for most people. And while this product may seem to be a healthy, natural option for increased weight loss, it may not be worth the investment.
R3 Flat Belly Shots contain such ingredients as cha de bugre, capsicum, tumeric, chickweed, spirulina, acacia, willow bark and cinnamon. As a way of dissecting this product, we’ve defined and described each ingredient’s individual properties below.
Cha de bugre comes from South America and is similar to the coffee bean. It has stimulant-like and diuretic properties similar to caffeine. Drinking caffeinated beverages while on anything that contains cha de bugre should be avoided to prevent worsening side effects like increased blood pressure and heart rate. If you are taking lithium, which is a mood stabilizer, the dosage may need to be lowered as cha de bugre decreases the elimination of lithium. (more…)
Talk about ruining a good thing. You take something wonderful like cinnamon, throw in teenagers and YouTube, and you have a growing recipe for disaster. The foolish internet craze referred to as the “cinnamon challenge” is causing a major commotion.
If you haven’t heard of the cinnamon challenge, it is very simple. It refers to the attempt to consume a spoonful of cinnamon in a hurry. No liquid is allowed to aid in washing it down. As one might imagine, cinnamon is very effective at drying out the mouth and the flavor can be spicy. YouTube is littered with videos of teens taking the challenge, and they are often seen gagging and coughing as the cinnamon goes flying everywhere.
Seems like harmless, albeit stupid, fun, right? Wrong. Dr. Alvin Bronstein is the medical director for the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center recently released this statement.
“We urge parents and caregivers to talk to their teens about the cinnamon challenge, explaining that what may seem like a silly game can have serious health consequences.”
There’s a reason why cinnamon stars in all sorts of pies and cakes: it is a warming spice, excellent for balancing the winter chill and “waking up” the sluggish Kapha dosha.
In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon has been used for centuries along with honey, ginger and tea to cure cold and flu.
Regular use of cinnamon improves the body’s ability to utilize blood sugar. In fact, just one gram of cinnamon taken daily can reduce fasting blood sugar, triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL (“bad’) cholesterol. Researchers are now recommending that Type 2 diabetics take up to 1 tsp of cinnamon daily.
In a study, participants were exposed to four scents: zero odor, peppermint, jasmine, and cinnamon. Guess what? Cinnamon emerged the clear winner in boosting brain function, especially memory and motor co-ordination. Just chewing cinnamon-flavored gum or smelling the spice does the trick. Inhale some cinnamon essential oil and feel the alertness kick in.