My daughter is turning three this week. As any mother can attest, I just can’t understand where the time has gone. She’s smart, sassy, full of song, and has been waiting for her birthday for months. With no prompting she has provided constant reminders of her wish for birthday hats, balloons (one of each color), and a cake (with fire on top) for months. I was happy to finally oblige with all three this weekend.
The cake, of course, is the centerpiece of any birthday party. But I’m also that mom and sugar is a rare treat in our house – birthdays being a reasonable exception. Still, I didn’t want to overload her, myself, or our guests with a sugar bomb topped with more fat and sugar in the frosting. So, I shared my vision for a fresh, homemade, but easier-on-the-sugar cake with our assistant editor and resident baker extradordinaire, Dana.
This Strawberry Lemonade Cake was a hit! It was rich and dense like a restaurant or bakery cake, but felt clean, light, and perfectly sweet. That’s because we didn’t use any butter and went light on the sugar, but made up for it with honey and fresh strawberries. (more…)
“I’m solar powered,” my grandmother recently said to me in the deepest, darkest part of the Winter That Just Would Not End. I couldn’t have agreed more, I thrive on sunshine! That day, the sun had poked through for the first time in weeks and we were all in a better mood. That night, I couldn’t handle sitting cooped up at our table for dinner one more time, so we made our way to the patio of a Mexican restaurant and enjoyed what will be the first of many outdoor dinners this season.
Our complimentary chips and salsa included a tomatillo and pineapple variety that I hadn’t tried before. One bite was all I needed to try and commandeer that part of the sampler. My husband told me I could make it better. Challenge accepted.
By the way – challenge won! (more…)
Spring sports are a great way for kids to enjoy the warmer weather and get active. What is not so great are some of the snacks that are provided after practice or a game is done.
Kids do need to refuel after practice, but healthier choices can be made than the snack cakes and soda that are usually made available. Registered dietitian Mary Hartley, our resident nutrition expert, recommends fruit, yogurt, hummus with pita and vegetables, or healthy homemade muffins as wholesome foods that make good after-practice snacks. She warns against soda, candy, chips and other processed foods that contain a lot of sugar and fat. Though eating something after practice is an important step in refueling the body, it shouldn’t take priority over hydration.
After a long practice, it is most important for kids to rehydrate. “Water is fine, but if heavy sweating is an issue, have a sports drink,” said Hartley. She also recommends chocolate milk as a good drink for refueling muscles because of its ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Chocolate milk can also be a good substitute for sugary snacks by providing kids the nutrition they need and satisfying a craving for something sweet. (more…)
If the weather won’t do its part to prove it is spring, then the calendar will have to do. Easter is the official go for launch for this sunny season and everyone is ready to shake their cabin fever. As you join friends and family this weekend to celebrate the holiday, add a few healthy dishes to your brunch spread. You’ve no doubt got the eggs covered, so let us cover everything else!
Our Baker’s Dozen eCookbook has 13 fresh breakfast and brunch recipes that are healthier than your average pancake or strip of bacon. From sweet potato hashbrowns and a sunny side up breakfast sandwich to blood orange mimosas and apple doughnuts, your mornings will never taste better. It’s all the inspiration you need to celebrate Easter morning. Download yours for 99 cents!
Apple Cinnamon Streusel Doughnuts
This moist whole grain doughnut is baked with sauteed apples and cinnamon right on top. It’s like dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dessert. Either way, it’s a wonderful way to start your holiday morning.
Melon Ball Soup
It doesn’t get much simpler than a two-ingredient recipe. Chilled cantaloupe and watermelon are pureed and topped with your choice of garnishments like cilantro, mint, or feta cheese for a delightfully surprising brunch appetizer. (more…)
By Stephanie Barnes for HelloGiggles.com
It’s finally here! Spring Break – the most magical time of the year for students everywhere. It’s time to leave your books and the stresses of real life behind and head out to find your little piece of paradise. Sounds perfect, right? What could go wrong while laying out on the beach sipping pretty drinks with hundreds of other bikini and Speedo clad college students? Many spring breakers get so caught up in the excitement of getting away that they go a little overboard – ending up on a wild ride of debauchery. But with a little pre-party planning, you can have an amazing time without all the superfluous stuff.
Be a Better Beach Baby
First thing you’ll probably want to do is hit the beach. Sea, sun and sand. Don’t forget your sunblock as overexposure to the sun can be extremely taxing on your body.
The beach is also great for reading. Catch up on the latest gossip from your favorite magazine or dive into that novel you’ve been dying to get your hands on. Put your cellphone away and focus entirely on your present moment. Just enjoy the pleasure of being unplugged, because your mental health is as important as your physical health. (more…)
It’s the first day of spring and Mother Nature is about to crank up the thermostat, and you’re probably thinking about shedding those winter pounds. For best results, look no further than your kitchen sink; water is everywhere, and there are plenty of drops to drink. Additionally, the impending increase in temperature puts us at greater risk of dehydration, a preventable warm-weather affliction.
In an article published this week, personal trainer and blogger Tony Schober said, “Water makes everything in your body work more efficiently. From fat loss to lubricating your nose, it is involved in every human function.” According to Tony, when you’re not giving your body enough water, it will hold on to its limited internal supply, leading to water retention.” Once you start drinking more water, your body recognizes that it is getting a steady external supply, and it starts letting go of the water weight it’s been holding,” said Tony. The water weight is stored in the waist, face, and ankles, giving the body a bloated and puffy look. (more…)
We keep experiencing these little glimpses of spring, which immediately puts me in the mood for summer. Does that make me an over achiever or impatient? Either way, both seasons make me want to sit on my patio, sip something delicious, and revel in my family and friends. I can’t be alone in this – just look at the Mason Jars full of beverages on Pinterest. We’ve all got the itch.
The scratch? My Sweet and Sour Vodka. It’s as light and refreshing as a tart glass of lemonade but has that little somethin-somethin to bring you back down after a long day. It’s. Amazing.
I stopped buying the jug o’ drink mixer at the grocery store years ago. Master of Mixes’ Sweet ‘n Sour has 110 calories and 25 grams of sugar per four-ounce serving. Our recipe has TEN calories and LESS than 1 gram of sugar. That neon yellow color, ridiculous after taste, and undesirable ingredient list left me thirsty for something better.
The answer was in front of me all along – my own lemons and limes squeezed to cocktail-mixing perfection. (more…)
By Abra Pappa For Nutritious America
Although my brain thinks it is time for spring produce we are still some time away from asparagus, leeks, artichokes, and other glorious spring goodies. This “in between” growing season is the perfect time to tackle that freezer.
If your freezer is like most I’ve seen it is a virtual wasteland of “good intentions.” We fill our freezers with the best of intentions to get to that which was purchased or prepared. Containers of soups, stews, chili, organic chicken, grass fed beef, mom’s meatloaf and aunt Susie’s Christmas fruit cake are all lovingly packed in and frozen to be quickly forgotten.
It is estimated that 40% of all food produced in America is thrown away. That is nearly 1400 calories per person every day that is wasted! How much of your hard earned money is thrown away with freezer burn?
This spring spend just a bit of time to re-evaluate your use of the freezer and try these tips to keep your freezer food fresh all year long. (more…)
By Rachel Berman, RD – Director of Nutrition, CalorieCount.com
Spring time is here and your spring cleaning may already be well under way. This year, in addition to tackling your closet and cleaning underneath the couch, focus on ‘detox’-ing to spring clean your health. No, I’m not talking about expensive drinks and celebrity cleanses which can be harmful to our bodies with short-lived results. These are marketing gimmicks to get you to shell out money for something you will have to do time and time again. By making changes to your diet, you can naturally ‘detox’ with healthy foods. Add these foods on a regular basis to optimize your health and feel your best inside and out.
Leafy Greens such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale contain cancer fighting compounds called glucosinolates. They are also a great source of calcium which is important for muscle contraction and therefore, can improve the ‘spring in your step.’ Frozen veggies can often be even more nutritious than fresh since they are frozen at the peak of ripeness. Try always keeping a bag in your freezer for quick and easy addition to meals.
Citrus Fruits are loaded with soluble fiber. This type of fiber increases the amount of healthy bacteria in your colon to help flush out toxins from your system. They are also loaded with immune boosting nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin C, which can improve the health of your skin. Choose the whole fruits, not juices, to get the maximum fiber benefit and improve satiation. (more…)