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pumpkin



Easy 5-Ingredient Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip with Homemade Graham Crackers

pumpkin cream cheese dip and-crackers
This time of year I find any excuse I can to invite people over. Saturday afternoon football games, Friday night TGIF-ing, or just because, Autumn feels like the most inviting season of all. Halloween night, especially. Our patio always turns in to the must-be spot for family and friends. Everyone pitches in goodies for the trick-or-treaters, and we provide the turkey & black bean chili.

While a healthy dinner that fuels our party and little costume wearers, I’m always trying to find some new and exciting to serve for dessert. This year, we’re going with a crazy-kind-of-simple Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip. Part appetizer, part dessert, wholly scrumptious, there’s nothing not to love about these seasonal creation.
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Your Favorite Pumpkin Treats are Full of Hidden Sugar, Fake Flavor

pumpkins

It’s already started: the time of pumpkin-flavored everything. Though many are cynical about the abundance of pumpkin, there’s no denying its power as a product. It’s estimated that we spend around $300 million a year, mostly between September and November, on products that at least kind of smell and taste like fall.

Essentially, people are going bananas for pumpkin. In fact, it’s one of the only vegetables that can claim a fandom. The thing is, most of the pumpkin products you can find this time of year don’t contain any pumpkin at all, just fake, processed pumpkin flavoring.

Take for example the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. The beverage doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin, just artificial flavoring. The same can be said for the new Pumpkin Spice Oreos and many other products that will appear on shelves in the next few weeks.
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The De-Stress Diet and 5 Foods for a Better Mood

good mood food

Eat more when you’re stressed? You’re not alone. In fact, all that stress eating can pack on an additional 11 pounds each year! Most of us are quick to turn to sugar and refined carbs the second tension gets high. When we feel overwhelmed, we seek out comforting food, giving it the power to make us feel better…and then worse.

A national survey conducted by NPR, Harvard School of Public Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that most changes to diet occurs during stressful times. And these changes aren’t always for the best.

The foods we choose under stress, like chocolate or simple carbohydrates such as bagels or white pasta, often take you on a hormonal roller coaster: surging and crashing hormone and blood sugar levels which leaves you more susceptible to new stresses than when you started. It’s a vicious cycle that must be stopped!
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Food Blogger Spotlight: Amy from Fit Fun and Fantastic

Amy from Fun Fit Fantastic Living a fantastically inspired life of food, fitness, and fun? That’s the tagline for Amy Clevenger’s blog, Fit Fun and Fantastic.  The site is so bright and cheery, I wasn’t surprised to learn it actually started as an Instagram account before it blossomed into a legit foodie blog.

More from Amy including her recipe for Pumpkin “Ice Cream featuring a non-dairy alternative for sensitive bellies -

Why did you start your  food blog? I actually started my Instagram account first (@fantasticallyfit) as a way to share recipes and hold myself accountable. Then, after a few months, and at the request of some of my followers, I started FitFunandFantastic.com!

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? My eating approach is focused on intuitive eating. I listen to my body. If I am hungry I eat and if I want candy I have it. That being said I try to primarily eat wholesome ingredients that are unprocessed and rich in nutrients. I also believe that eating healthy does not mean you have to live in the kitchen! Most of my recipes take less than 10 minutes to prep.

Have you always had an interest in healthy food or did it come later in life? I definitely was not always this interested in healthy eating. My main sources of food before I taught myself how to cook were: cereal, pizza, and fast food. Until about 3 years ago the only thing I knew how to cook was a box of mac n’ cheese!


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A Very Biggest Loser Thanksgiving: 7 Fat-Trimming Tips from the Ranch and a Pumpkin Flan Recipe

Tune in to Biggest Loser tonight for a special Thanksgiving on the ranch. We’ll see the contestants gather ’round the kitchen for all of the traditional favorites like turkey, dressing, gravy, and of course a pumpkin dessert. But a few things will be missing – loads of fat, calories, and processed ingredients.

Don’t feel too bad for the contestants missing their families, though. By our calculations, this Thanksgiving episode would have filmed in mid August; meaning most or all of them are home with their families for the real holiday this week.

cheryl forberg

Cheryl Forberg, RD, the show’s dietitian and a James Beard award-winning chef, showed the contestants how to craft a Thanksgiving meal so out of this world they no doubt forgot how good it was for them, and you, too! Using fresh, wholesome ingredients, and what she calls flavor agents, all explained in her cookbook Flavor First, Cheryl was able to give the contestants a holiday meal to remember (and one their waistlines will soon forget!). Her best have-a-healthy-Thanksgiving tips are shared exclusively here.

biggest loser thanksgiving

Let’s start with the turkey. Low in fat and high in protein, it’s an inexpensive source of B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Cheryl served a non-traditional take on the bird, with her Turkey Roulade.

Baste your bird with flavorful fat-free broth (instead of butter). You’ll have lots of delicious juices to serve without breaking your calorie bank.
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