By Kendra Thiel from Adventures of the Headless Family
One of the great pleasures of the holiday season is the family recipes that are passed from generation to generation. The tastes of the holidays bring back warm memories of simpler times spent with our favorite people. My grandmother was a spectacular cook and many of my childhood memories are centered around her dining room table. Most of those recipes, though, don’t take into account our more modern need to watch our calories, fat content, and carb counts.
If you’re a Biggest Loser fan like I am, one of the biggest take-aways from the show is “How do I eat healthier, without sacrificing the taste that I crave?” Modifying your existing holiday recipes is a perfect way to get the best of both worlds.
My grandmother’s recipe for Squash Casserole is the perfect example. With just a few substitutions and modifications I have dropped the calorie count significantly and preserved all of the yummy memories of my youth.
Halloween is a fantastic holiday. There’s no pressure to buy just the right gift, no cleaning or decorating, no resolutions or 100 degree picnics. It’s a day devoted to getting dressed up, scared out of your mind and filled up with candy. Well, maybe the last part isn’t the greatest idea, but how can you avoid it? One way is to serve healthier alternatives at your party. Make ’em fun, and chances are, the kids won’t even miss the junk.
Pumpkin is quite possibly the most well-known Halloween fruit. Take advantage of the orange globe’s popularity and serve Mini Pumpkin Muffins. To reduce the fat in the recipe, substitute applesauce for the oil. An additional choice of Butternut Squash Muffins will round out the (delicious) options. Stir orange food coloring into low-fat cream cheese for a yummy spread.
Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
“Surely the Apple is the noblest of fruits” said Henry Thoreau.
For sure, apples are one of the basic foods, and all basic foods have nutritional benefits. But in this age of super-fruits, people want to know, what up with an apple?
Question: “Is one apple healthier than another?
Apple nutrition is just a matter of size. A larger apple simply has more nutrients. Apples can be as small as a cherry or as big as a grapefruit. One medium apple is 3-inches measured across the middle.
While some Halloween activities are geared towards children, there are plenty of ways to celebrate as an adult that don’t involve the words “trick or treat.”
If you want to celebrate the most ghoulish holiday of the year with your grown-up friends, think a little classier than candy and round up your scariest snacks and creepiest cocktail recipes to scare up some Halloween party fun.
Offer creepy and crawly (if any) candy. When you’re watching your weight, it’s always best to avoid candy and processed sugar. On Halloween, if you have your heart set on eating Halloween candy, serve the creepy-crawly variety. Gummy worms and spiders, although high in sugar, are often fat-free and will do less damage to your diet than creamy or chocolate candy.
Late August marks the beginning of apple season around the country and while a lot of farms in your home state might offer apple trees ripe for the picking, Washington, New York and Michigan are the top three apple-producing states in the nation.
Even if you know your apple types, you might still find yourself confused by the apple varieties on the market and hanging from the trees at your local farm. While different types of apples have different culinary applications, most apple varieties work in sweet or savory recipes.
According to the Michigan Apple Committee, the Honeycrisp variety, which is only available in September and October, is continually growing in popularity. Honeycrisp has a crisp, juicy bite and a sweet flavor, perfect for eating or adding to salads.
This month is National Honey Month and it just so happens that this week, we’re all about honey. Between the Jewish New Year, which includes a tradition of dipping apples in honey for a “sweet” New Year to First Lady Michelle Obama’s honey beehive at the white house, we just can’t get enough. Plus, there is just no denying that the sweet sugar alternative has some astounding health benefits.
According to the National Honey Board, Americans consume nearly 1.5 pounds of honey per year annually. While honey is certainly not new, it has recently gained popularity as a healthy alternative to sugar. At 60 calories per tablespoon, honey offers a number of advantages.
By Delia Quigley for Care2.com
“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” Hippocrates
In herbology they are called astringent meaning foods and herbs that are natural blood cleansers and antibiotic in nature. The word anti (against) – biotic (life), refers to a list of pharmaceutical antimicrobials designed to kill harmful bacteria in the host body. Problem is, these synthetic forms of antibiotics kill off both the good and bad bacteria leaving the body depleted of living microflora that support immune function.
Including foods and herbs that contain antibiotic properties in your diet can support your immune system and help to defend you from certain infectious bacteria. This can also be said for organisms such as the Lymes spirochete and Candida Albicans, an overgrowth of yeast. There are many foods and herbs known to have natural antibiotic qualities; and with an increased resistance to pharmaceutical antibiotics in people today, it is wise to eat foods that work in your defense on a daily basis.
This is not to imply that you should not take antibiotics when deemed necessary by your medical doctor. However, knowing how to use certain foods as medicine can help you to cut down on over using synthetic antibiotics for minor health conditions. Naturally, consult your physician before proceeding.
Moroccan food, which borrows inspiration from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culture, is exotic and diverse, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it in your own home as part of a healthy diet.
Moroccan food uses very distinct flavors and spices, such as cumin, coriander, saffron, chiles, dried ginger, cinnamon, and paprika, all of which give a flavor boost without adding fat or calories.
Start Your Meal with Mint Tea
You’ve probably heard diet tips that tell you to drink a full glass of water or eat an apple before beginning a meal to curb your appetite. In Morocco, green tea is a cultural sign of hospitality, friendship and tradition. People drink it throughout the day, so why not begin your meal with a calorie-free cup of tea?
While the Pad Thai from your favorite Thai take-out joint has an average of 500 calories per cup, the food you would eat if you traveled to Thailand is quite different – and better for you.
According to food blogger and author Joy Buasi from Joy’s Thai Food, Thai cuisine is well known for its fresh ingredients, robust spiciness and complex flavors and aromas. While chili powder, fresh citrus juices and fish stock are common Thai food flavorings, the cuisine is also peppered with peanuts, coconut milk and oil.
If you want to reap the healthy benefits of Thai cuisine, make your own at home so that you can limit the high-calorie ingredients and take advantage of the ingredients full of nutrients.