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Natural Health Newsletter Brought to you by Diets in Review
“Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness”
— George Santayana

This month’s issue marks the 2 year anniversary of the Eat Live Laugh newsletter. It's hard to believe how fast the time has gone. For those of you who have been a reader from the beginning I want to thank you as the newsletter has evolved over the past couple of years and has most recently become part of the dietsinreview.com family. For my newer subscribers I hope you continue to enjoy the monthly editions and look forward to many anniversaries in the years to come.

To celebrate this milestone I will be giving away a copy of the newly launched cookbook Babycakes by Erin Mckenna. I had the opportunity to interview Erin Mckenna back in February and love all of her treats that are made with healthier, alternative ingredients and are gentler on our tummies.

Erin Mckenna Babycakes BookFor a chance to win the cookbook email me at amy@eatlivelaugh.com and share your favorite sweet treat by June 1st. The winner will be announced in the June issue.

Best in Health!
~Amy~


Don’t always believe packaging of your everyday products!

Bowl of Cherries

Every time we go to the grocery store we are bombarded with aisle upon aisle of pre-packaged foods in brightly colored packaging designed to get our attention and to entice us to put them in our shopping carts. The messaging varies from product to product, such as low fat, low calorie, sugar-free or even fat free. These messages may create the desire to buy the products, but what if the claims aren’t accurate?

Recently, General Mills ran into an issue with inaccurate product messaging on one of their most famous and popular cereals - Cheerios. The packaging and advertising associated with Cheerios have made promises to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer as well as lower cholesterol. The FDA posted a letter on their website requiring that the claims be fixed or the company would risk product seizure.

According to the FDA, food companies are allowed to make nutritional claims backed by scientific studies with restricted wording. These types of claims have become a popular packaging technique for food and beverage makers which have lead to boosts in sales for products with these types of messages. Another reason for the increase in this type of messaging now allowed by the FDA is the obesity epidemic that our nation is currently facing and the increased desire by consumers to find the quick fixes to help them lose weight by as buying products labeled fat free.

Although the FDA is not concerned with the safety of Cheerios, it does feel that their messaging needs to accurately reflect scientific evidence for their claims. Consumers are clearly influenced by packaging and claims on labels and it is important that manufacturers be held accountable for what is listed on their products.

When shopping for your own food, please ensure to not only read the labels but turn the package over and read the nutritional information. A product may state that it is fat-free but that does not mean it is calorie-free or sugar-free.


Recipe of the Month: Babycakes chocolate chip cookies

Babycakes Chocoloate Chip Cookies

One of my personal favorite treats from Babycakes is their Chocolate Chip cookie... YUM! Here I provide you the recipe courtesy of the Babycakes cookbook and author/baker Erin Mckenna. One bite into these delicious cookies and you’ll be sure to enter the Babycakes cookbook giveaway.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 36 cookies



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup evaporated cane juice
  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (Try Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 ½ tsp xantham gum
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven the 325 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, applesauce, salt, vanilla, and evaporated cane juice. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, baking soda and xanthan gum. Using a rubber spatula, carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until a grainy dough is formed. Gently fold in the chocolate chips just until they are evenly distributed through the dough.
  3. Using a melon baller, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the portions 1 inch apart. Gently press each with the heel of your hand to help them spread. Bake the cookies on the center rack for 15 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes. The finished cookies will be crisp on the edges and soft in the center.
  4. Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely before covering. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.



In the News

When I first read the headline ’Can a plate help you lose weight?‘ I was certainly intrigued. Of course, depending on what we put on that plate makes all the difference. So what was so special about this plate? Essentially, the plate details with graphics and measurements what your portions should be to help guide you to stay within the proper portion sizes as you place food on your plate. I wrote about this similar topic in my February 2008 issue which provided some portion size guidelines using everyday items to help you in your daily eating. To read more about the diet plate visit: doesitwork.msnbc.com


Giving Back

The mission of Children Mending Hearts is to be a global arts exchange between at-risk children in the United States and children living in conflict zones that educates, empowers and encourages individuals leading them to a sense of empathy and desire for peace. If an inner city child creates something for a child soldier who doesn’t just have a hole in his/her shoe, but is shoeless, then this inner city child goes from a victim to victorious. Children gain a sense of being an advocate, of making sense of what is going on in their world, and knowing that even the simplest actions can make a difference. Please visit Children mending hearts and see how you can and your family can get involved. Our children need us and this is a unique opportunity to bring our cultures together.

(Courtesy of www.childrenmendinghearts.org)


Action Items

  • What are your thoughts about the diet plate? Is this something you think could help with guiding in eating correct portion sizes or just another gimmick? Email me your feedback amy@eatlivelaugh.com.
  • If you haven’t already emailed me your favorite sweet treat for the Babycakes cookbook giveaway, don’t forget to do so by June 1st. The winner will be announced in the June issue.


Forward to a Friend

It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this newsletter to friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.

Also, if there is something you are interested in learning more about or would like me to feature in an upcoming newsletter please contact me.

Eat, Live Laugh newsletters are intended for overall general wellness. If you have condition specific concerns please feel free to contact me.