Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Delightful Dessert-y Snack

Sharing a savory snack!

It reminds me of a childhood treat of the extra pie crust around from the edges baked with cinnamon sprinkled over it!  Only, of course, this version is much healthier!

Chop, smash, or leave whole, 1-2 cups pecans.
Spread evenly over rimmed baking sheet.
Bake at 400 (convection) or 425 (conventional) for 10 min.
Let cool (be sure to taste some warm and toasty!) and pour into storage container.
Sprinkle nuts generously with cinnamon (around a Tbsp) and stir, or just close lid and shake.
Slice a banana and sprinkle as much of mixture on top, and enjoy!

Extra stays nicely for a few days, though it doesn't have much chance to sit around long before being gobbled up by me!...really good all by itself!

It's so healthy and simple! And YUM!  I adore those toasted pecans!  They're delicious with BRUSSELS sprouts!

Read here for the benefits of HEALTHY FATS, AND NUTS in particular!

COMMENTS: are you one to prepare for the holidays early, or wait until the last minute?  Or star early and still have things left to do at the end, like me!?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lucky 7 Sipping Suggestions!

The previous post warned of the dangers of added sugars in fruit drinks and pop, with the SOLUTION of drinking 100% fruit juice.

Many readers do this already!

Whole fruit instead of juice = 
Fewer calories, MORE fiber, and usually more nutrients :)

Read on to REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF JUICE you consume:)

#1 ADD WATER or carbonated water to juice (soda water, club soda, sparkling, SELTZER, or "fuzzy" water as my 4 year-old calls it!), 50% is good for most kids and adults, but you be the judge.  For 2-3 year-olds, just use a small fraction of juice for a bit of flavor.  For some older kids, teens, and adults, perhaps only add a small portion of water at first, to adapt to the milder taste.

BONUS TIP: TART CHERRIES* are rich in MELATONIN.   In one study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, consuming (1 oz of concentrate with 7 oz water) 90 minutes before bed resulted in an average of 30 bonus min of sleep per night!  *MONTMORENCY variety have the most melatonin of tart cherry varieties.

#2 Herbal and fruit TEAS, hot or cold, can be very flavorful!  With zero calories or sweeteners!

#3 Juice can also be combined with milk (ideally, non-fat, organic) or KEFIR (yogurt-like drink with TONS of probiotics!); either combination tastes like a traditional SMOOTHIE!  Orange juice is a great juice to begin with and then you can experiment!  It's especially great for post-workout replenishing!

#4 REAL CITRUS packets!  Check them out in previous post!  Plus, add some CHIA and you've got Chia Fresca!

These silly straws help any little taster to be more open to a new drink!

#5 Try flavoring a PITCHER of water with some fresh fruit -- raspberries, citrus fruits, apples, cucumber (yes, yes, it's a veggie, still tastes so nice :), cherries, kiwi, peaches, mango, passion fruit (Y-U-M! ...though I've NEVER had it around here)!...what would you add?

#6 Fruit AND vegetable juice -- this takes down the (natural) sugar and calorie count AND increases the nutrients!  Fruitables!  Costco sells them :) and there are also other single serving fruit/veggie drinks from Costco! (Naked and V8 Fusion)

Available at Costco!

#7 Of course there is the option of MAKING YOUR OWN drink for a super fiber-punch, nutrient-punch, and TASTE-bang! -- whatever fruits you like, some spinach or kale, and blend!  Plus, there is always Dr Oz's Tangy Green Drink!

COMMENTS: Did you drink Kool-Aid as a kid?  What was your favorite flavor?  I can still picture the  cups of sugar just being poured into pitcher after pitcher!  Who knew it would cause so much damage in our bodies!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fruit Drinks -- Those Sneaky Companies!

FRUIT DRINKS are only required by the FDA to contain a drop of juice, so many only contain 0-10% juice!

FRUIT DRINKS sometimes have even more sugar than soda!

This image is from Discovery Channel's website

SUGAR DRINKS, many of which are FRUIT DRINKS, are the top source of ADDED SUGAR for Americans, and the greatest source of calories in teens!

Can you believe Americans consume on average 9 bags of ADDED sugar (45 lb) per year?

Kids who drink an 8-oz sugar drink per day increase their odds of becoming obese by 60%! Regarding adults, sugar negatively affects all of our bodies, from suppressing IMMUNE function, to increasing INSULIN RESISTANCE, to contributing to HEART disease, DEMENTIA, macular degeneration, and of course tooth decay! (

Curious about what you'll have to do to burn off a can of Coke (or about any 12-oz sugar drink)? Is 70 minutes of ironing worth the sugar/caffeine buzz you're going for? Check out Cocoa-Cola's activity calculator below!

Work It Out Calculator

Plus, here is a cool "infographic" about sugar drinks!

Awesome visual is from Discovery!


Choose 100% fruit juice!
(clearly displayed on the FOOD LABEL)

If you normally drink 100% juice, super!  
It contains NO ADDED SUGAR and a variety of nutrients!

Whole fruit is better still -- containing fewer calories, more nutrients, and most importantly, FIBER!
SO for you 100% juice drinkers out there (many I'm sure!), here is a post providing tips for reducing the amount of juice you drink!


Much of the above information came from the research and initiative of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.  You can check out the following below for more information.

How Much Sugar Do You Eat?  You May Be Surprised! (from New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services)


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