As fall approaches, I can’t get enough of nutrient dense root vegetables. Most notably: the sweet potato. While some prefer variety in their diet, I could eat some form of sweet potato every day: mashed for breakfast, fried for lunch, and stuffed for dinner.
Stuffed sweet potato, you ask? Yes. My multiple experiments in the kitchen to include as much sweet potato as possible has led to one of my staple year-round dinners –the kale & white bean stuffed sweet potato. Who needs to wait for fall to have a hearty, yet surprisingly light, dinner? Not me!
Sweet potatoes are an all-star source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and the purple sweet potatoes are even thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just as the recipe name implies, you simply bake the sweet potatoes, choose your green and your white bean, prepare as directed, then stuff the greens & beans into the sweet potato for a healthy and satisfying edible boat! It’s truly delicious. (more…)
It is the crunchy season, aka fall, and that means it’s soup and stew season, too. Woohoo!
I love fall. Like lovvvve fall.
Not such a fan of the soups though. I’m more of a stew and chili kind of girl, if I have to be. But a few years ago, I found a compromise in my Crock Pot and it has become my family’s single most favorite meal of fall and winter.
I used simple, healthy Mexican ingredients — a food genre I swear I could eat every single day — stirred them up, and started filling bowls with Taco Soup.
It’s one of those slow cooker meals that fills the house with intoxicating smells for hours until you’re so hungry you’ll risk third degree burns on your tongue just to get that first taste! (more…)
As the days get longer and the nights get cold, autumn reminds us that it’s OK to fire up the oven again. Since you won’t be sweating anyone out of those house when you preheat to 425 degrees, take advantage of the temperate season and fill the house with the intoxicating aroma of homemade baked goods.
There’s nothing like a sweet treat in the fall, but the pies, lattes, and candies are usually calorie bombs that you could frankly do without. With Halloween, October might just be the sweetest month of the year. But our sweet treats spare you the sugar and calories normally associated with confections. And you better believe we never skimp on the novelty.
We’ve dreamed up five simple, healthy, and scrumptious donut recipes that will fill your home and belly with fall feel-goodness. Our donut recipe collection is the perfect complement to the cravings associated with fall: warm, sweet, ooey-gooey fun. Even more impressive, none of the donuts rely on the typical “pumpkin spice” crutch so often seen in October. Leave the pumpkin guts to the kids, you’ve got some baking to do!
Apple Cinnamon Streusel Donut
Unless you’re a teenager or child, you can’t enjoy a donut without some post sugar-high guilt. For the food conscious who have a sweet tooth, these hearty gems are the perfect fit. The donuts have real apples, whole wheat flour batter, and a decadent and textured streusel topping. With this perfect weekend-long snack, you can practically afford to eat two in a row at 155 calories each. (more…)
Sneaking in just before the Thanksgiving and Christmas craziness is one of the most polarizing holidays of the year. That’s right! It’s almost time for Halloween. If you’re like me, you love a good, creative Halloween costume that stands out from the crowd. We, with the help of Marlon Heimerl from HalloweenCostumes.com, have rounded up some of our favorite health and fitness inspired costumes again this year. Wear one of these, and you’re sure to stand out from the crowd of superheroes, Gatsbys and twerking Miley Cyruses.
Themed Marathon Runner
Themed marathons reached a high point in popularity this year, ranging from Color Runs to Disney inspired races to the slightly creepier Zombie Runs. For a relatively easy costume that’s also comfortable, throw on shorts, running shoes, a T-shirt and pick your favorite theme to accessorize your look.
Rhabdo the Clown
As the unofficial mascot of CrossFit, Rhabdo has gained some notoriety for seemingly mocking the health risks of the intense exercise regimen. He also makes a gruesome Halloween costume choice for those who want to be a little frightening, but don’t want to resort to traditional favorites like vampires and zombies. For this costume, all you need is workout gear, clown make up and wig, and a few organs hanging out of your exercise shorts. To go all out, carry around some heavy-looking weights and add make up to look extra tired and beat up. (more…)
Summer is over but my salad bowl is still full! I’m a big fan of the big a– salad trend. Just a plate piled high with greens, veggies, berries, nuts and frankly anything else you want – it’s an entree that never disappoints. I always finish feeling full, satisfied, and not weighed down.
With Autumn as my muse, and my refrigerator quickly filling with the early seasonal produce, I crafted an entirely new entree salad. And it’s gooooood.
“How is this even real?” was our photographer’s reaction upon tasting hers. And then she proceeded to demolish the rest of the food props.
Our Harvest Chopped Salad is like a farmers market truck unloaded in your kitchen. And then it rained down this homemade vinaigrette and what bloomed was just the best darn thing you’ve eaten in a while!
With red beets, carrots, quinoa, and ginger, this salad is not only hearty and satiating, but it’s also a great way to get your food experimentation on. If it’s been a while since you’ve tried some of these ingredients, or presents the first time, get after it! All of the complementary flavors blend perfectly together and it’s so darn pretty you won’t have any choice but to want to eat it. (more…)
The calendar has officially declared that fall has arrived, even if the weather is slow to get on board. This cooler season isn’t unlike summer in that it is full of wonderful ways for you and your family to stay active and healthy.
Here are thirteen fun things you can do with your loved ones. We encourage you to try one activity for each week of Autumn.
1. Play at the Pumpkin Patch.
The pumpkin patch is a great way to get off the couch and get some fresh air. Most patches have hay rack rides, petting zoos, and even playgrounds. Get the most out of your time, challenge your kids to find the oddest sized pumpkin, or get some exercise by searching the far end of the patch. There’s lots of fun to be had by all.
2. Eat Pumpkin!
While you’re at the patch, don’t forget to grab a few baking pumpkins. The big guys are great for jack-o’-lanterns, but don’t taste the best. The smaller sizes are great for more than pie. Try roasting a pumpkin and serving it with a little salt, or add it to your favorite chili recipe. In fact we have 11 more ideas for cooking with this gourd.
3. You Butternut Forget the Squash!
Whether you’re at the pumpkin patch or at your grocery store, don’t forget about the other delicious plants growing on the vine. Fall welcomes the season for winter squashes like butternut or acorn. The shapes are fun and the flavors are delicious. Experiment with new tastes with Butternut Squash Fries or Roasted Acorn Squash Salad. (more…)
I’m not afraid to admit I get a little bummed out as summer transitions to autumn, and then to winter. The perfectly named Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is an affliction of which I’ve always suffered, but for the longest time I thought I was being an overly sensitive wimp. After a mild and jovial summer, the cool air that gusts melancholy over the Midwest in early September had me wondering if I was about to get SAD again, if it was a legitimate condition, and if so, what I could do fight it.
I shot our resident mental health expert, Brooke Randolph, LMHC an email asking her about SAD, and she revealed that after two decades of speculation, SAD had officially been classified as a common disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). In 2008—before SAD was an official diagnosis—Brooke wrote, “Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area.” For example, if seasonal change begins to negatively impact your responsibilities as an employee, student, or partner, you probably have SAD. (more…)
By Team Best Life
Let’s be honest. We don’t always have time to squeeze in fitness, even when we plan ahead. If this happens to you more often than you’d care to admit, we have the perfect solution: Try working family time into exercise time—you’ll bond with the people you love while working up a sweat in the process. It’s a win-win!
Get started with one or more of our eight active ideas below:
Focus on food. In summer and fall, pick-your-own farms are abundant and usually involve lots of walking. Make a day of it. This season, apple orchards and pumpkin patches are ripe for the picking!
Look for fun runs. A lot of community races encourage family participation with one-mile fun runs or walks, and they almost always benefit a good cause. (more…)
According to my coffee-themed wall calendar, fall is here! The oppressive heat of summer is hanging on in some parts of the nation but as each leaf turns color, lands in my my backyard and taunts me to rake it, the closer we come to hoodies, hayrack rides and of course, cooking with pumpkin. I’m declaring pumpkin to be the official food ambassador of fall. It’s so diverse, you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert. In fact, if you wanted to, you could devote an entire day to pumpkin-eating but I wouldn’t, because that would be excessive.
In addition to being a fall recipe staple, the pumpkin is a super food. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with nutrients including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. It’s also packed with iron, zinc and beta carotene. Does that make pumpkin pie practically a vitamin? I think it does.
To kick off the season of our favorite gourd, we’ve rounded up 11 easy low-cal, healthy pumpkin recipes that you’ll want to start baking this weekend.
Turn on the football game and sit down with this steamy bowl of Pumpkin Chili while you cheer on your favorite team.
I’d much rather eat something fresh and homemade than something out of a box or can. Sure, it can be a little more time consuming, but that’s what my weekends are for. I feel a lot better serving a meal in which I can name every single ingredient. Plus, I don’t mind the bragging rights that come with a little honest-to-goodness made-from-scratch cooking!
One of my husband’s favorite meals is my Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. As soon as the temperatures start cooling off, I’m more than happy to spend a Sunday in the kitchen making this cool-weather meal for him.
I only have to make this once or twice each winter because it fills my Crock Pot completely full and then several containers for freezing. While I may have to invest an afternoon to prepare it once, I’ve got several effortless meals later. (more…)