The best part of waking up is oatmeal in my daughter’s bowl. The morning is the most routine part of her day and she sticks by it with military precision. This is her own doing. She rises at 8, requests a bowl of oatmeal, and then gets dressed. Every single day. Her penchant for oatmeal used to be a sticking point for us; I had to boil the water and prep the oatmeal from scratch. This wasn’t feasible every morning.
Have you looked at microwave oatmeals? Honestly, they’re gross — at least to me! For something so pure and natural, most of those boxes read like a chemistry experiment. So we reserved oatmeal for the mornings I had time to make the real thing. Until I discovered Better Oats Raw Pure & Simple Oatmeal. I swear this isn’t sponsored; my endorsement is as organic as the oats themselves! I found it on the shelf at my Kroger one day, and at $1.99 per eight-count box, I couldn’t afford not to stock up. Now it’s a staple on the grocery list and for six months my daughter has had a bowl of this oatmeal every single morning.
Each pouch is filled with raw, pure oats and a blend of quinoa, flax, and barley. We buy the “Bare” — just plain Jane oatmeal. It takes two minutes to prepare: Oats in the bowl, water, microwave for 1:45, and serve. We’ve found that using a little less water than recommended and cooking for less time gives a thicker oatmeal, which my kiddo prefers.
What she actually ends up eating is anything but plain Jane. She has a standard recipe that we abide by: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, fresh fruit. (more…)
Raise your hand if you’re not looking for something refreshing to drink right now? Cruising in to the hottest weeks of summer, “hydrate, hydrate, hydrate” should be the motto of every one of us. Yes, even a couch potato dehydrates in these hot temps, and if you’re actually prone to moving your body and regular bouts of exercise, then a water glass should always be raised to your mouth.
But water’s boring and bland and blah, blah blah. I feel ‘ya. Iced tea is my go-to drink in the summer. Yes, it counts as water. However, the caffeine can be counterproductive as it’s a diuretic.
This Rhubarb Iced Tea is as easy as a summer breeze, hydrates as well as any plain ‘ole glass of water, and is naturally caffeine free. You’re saying ahhhhhh! before the first sip, right? (more…)
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!
Growing up, I remember singing Mary Poppins’ song, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” While I didn’t understand the song, I knew that it was catchy. And while I still cringe at the thought of taking cough syrup, especially because of the high fructose corn syrup that can be found in most bottles, it seems sweet relief is on its way. According to a new study, as reported by FoxNews, a spoonful of honey could help kids and parents both cope with nighttime coughs.
The new study, published in Pediatrics, shows researchers from Israel took 300 kids, ages 1 to 5, and had them try 1 of 4 nighttime cough treatments. Parents would give their children 2 teaspoons of honey or one of three placebos 30 minutes before bed. The following week, on a 7-point scale, parents rated how their children slept. The study, led by Dr. Herman Avner Cohen of Tel Aviv University, found children who were given honey slept better and reduced their coughing more than those who took the placebo. Parents also reaped the benefits by sleeping through the night! (more…)
I heard about it on NPR this weekend while on a mini road trip, but you may have already heard about it from a number of news sources or even Facebook. Babyccinos are a trend, it would seem, or at least a trending search term. As I did some digging, it seems that such things have existed in Australia and London for a while. In the U.S. it may be most popular in Brooklyn, I cannot say it is completely unheard of here in the midwest either. Babyccinos are coffee-like beverages intended for very young children. There are different versions that have been discussed some with steamed milk, some with honey, and some with a shot of decaf espresso. While babyccinos may be a trend that is over reported, the danger cannot be overstated.
1. Espresso – Even decaffeinated espresso or decaffeinated coffee is not free of caffeine; the amount of caffeine has just been reduced. The effects of caffeine on children will be exaggerated due to their small size, and as anyone who has ever had to skip their morning coffee knows, caffeine is a drug without which withdrawal symptoms will be experienced. At what age do you really want to introduce that to your children? It is also important to note that to remove caffeine from coffee beans a chemical solvent must be used. (more…)
According to a test run by Food Safety News, a vast majority of the honey lining grocery store shelves may not actually be honey.
Results of the study showed that the pollen typically found in honey is often filtered out through a high-tech procedure called ultra-filtering. Without this pollen, it’s difficult to identify where the honey in question originated from and whether it is in its purest form. From plastic bears to jugs and jars, it can be a real challenge to identify which products are your best bet. To help you out, here are a few guidelines to help you select real honey every time:
What you need to know
With a vast majority of our honey being ultra-filtered, it’s important to know what that means. In some instances, it may mean that there is indeed very minimal amounts of real honey present within the product; however, in most cases it most likely means that the purity of the honey isn’t as clear cut as you thought it might be. According to the study done by Food Safety News, most of the honey lining our grocery store shelves have had their pollen removed. In fact, 76-100% of the samples retrieved from some of America’s biggest grocery store chains tested negative for pollen.
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.
Honey has been used to treat different ailments for thousands of years, but recently raw honey has been getting a lot of attention. It’s being touted for its nutritional benefits, its antibacterial properties and its ability to treat allergies. But are these claims too good to be true?
Raw honey, which is unprocessed and is as close to its natural state in the hive as possible, is a source of polyphenol, a rich antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. According to WebMD, a small study showed that people who ate four tablespoons had higher levels of antioxidants in their blood.
While you shouldn’t get plastered in the first place, we all know that New Year’s Eve is one of those occasions where many of us will overindulge. That means many of us will also start 2011 groggy and out of it.
There have been many hangover cures touted over the years, with most of them being mere quackery. Some swear by greasy food like a sausage and egg biscuit, or just grab some coffee.
According to scientists, the best option (besides just waiting it out and drinking water) is toast and a healthy scoop of honey. Hangovers happen when the body converts alcohol into the toxic chemical called acetaldehyde, but the fructose in honey helps the body break down alcohol into a harmless byproduct. Toast adds potassium and sodium, which apparently also help.
If you like to cook and eat there is one more thing you can do with your favorite foods: put them on your body. Some of the ingredients in your favorite recipes might also be some of the ingredients in your favorite shampoos, soaps, lotions, body and facial products.
“Everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body,” said Ella Rich, owner of Ella Flor, a natural products and flower essence company. “Feed your skin well and you will look and feel better.”
A number of beauty products are made with extracts from avocado, honey and coconut. While you can mix your own potions and lotions at home, there are also some almost-edible treats for your hair, face and body that are perfect when you need a pick me up without the calories.