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      Blog — Food

      Toast the New Year with Tea-Infused Cocktails

      Toast the New Year with Tea-Infused Cocktails

      Hosting a new year’s eve party requires even the most adept party planners to find inventive new ways to celebrate, especially on the heels of the whirlwind holiday party season.

      So here’s our tasty tip: You can skip the basic drinks and throw a healthy spin in the mix with tea cocktails!

      Tea’s antioxidants, immune-boosting powers, and low-calorie flavor are the perfect ingredients for a unique party treat. Preventing cancer and heart disease and lowering cholesterol are only a few things that make tea the perfect mixer.

      Most cocktails are filled with sugar that lead to more empty calories and upset stomachs. Two tea experts from Owl’s Brew, Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield, turned to tea cocktails to seek delicious drinks without excess sweeteners.

      The two found that anyone can easily make their own tea cocktails when following some basic guidelines. When adding alcohol, you’ll want to double the amount of tea leaves you use in order to preserve the taste. Using a 4 to 1 ratio of tea to alcohol and a tablespoon of sweetener will balance the drink as well.

      For an extra touch of natural sweetness, try a simple syrup made with honey. It’s just equal parts honey and water!

      5 tea-infused cocktails

      Mix your own holiday tea cocktails by using seasonal garnishes like cinnamon sticks or cranberries and toss them in your favorite tea blends.

      Not ready to create your own recipe? Try some of these tea cocktail recipes to add a healthy, distinctive experience for your guests.

      How to Eat and Move All the Way to Grandmother’s House This Holiday Season

      How to Eat and Move All the Way to Grandmother’s House This Holiday Season

      Look, it’s no secret that we’re headed into the season where the Candy Land board game seems to come to life and we’re just hopping over bridges with arms full of gumdrops and trying to dodge licorice monsters lurking behind cotton candy trees all while working toward the twirly, swirly, glittery cupcake fortress of sugar coma dreams in the same pants we started in.

      Can we live?

      So before you set off for grandmother’s house by way of plane or train this holiday season, we wanted to arm you with a few travel tips that are good for your mind, body, and even hips! If you burn through all of your holiday splurges before you even get there, who’s going to eat all of that real pumpkin pie?


      Say it with us … the cooler is your friend! If you’re traveling by car, then you can keep fresh delicious snacks or meals, depending on the length of the drive, right on hand. Sandwich supplies are the easiest for road-side picnics. Fresh, cold fruit like grapes, oranges, and apples are bite-sized, refreshing, and totally manageable in the car.

      The site plans a route that you can filter by “vegetarian and healthy restaurants” along the way! The map indicates where to find restaurants, delis, and grocers that offer better options than greasy burgers and fries.

      Stop and stretch, too! Your entire body will thank you if your trip lasts more than about three hours. Challenge yourself to take 500-1000 steps at each gas or bathroom stop; add some resistance with squats and lunges. Do a few yoga stretches when you’re stopped like cat/cow, windmills, or ragdolls.


      TSA guidelines actually permit quite a few healthful foods to travel on board. Veggie sticks and hummus, chips and salsa, granola bars, a sandwich, or even a packed salad. Dressings, salsa, or other liquids have to stick to the 3.4-ounce rule.

      In light of this, airports have broadened their offerings. Carry-on your will power and the caprese wrap will be just as satisfying as a pastrami on rye. Sushi, soup, big salads, and smoothies are pretty easy to find after security. Splurge on the biggest bottle of water after security and skip the alcohol. Dehydration is all too common with the dry air and altitude of air travel.

      As for movement in the friendly skies, get all you can where you can. Walk instead of riding the moving sidewalk, take the escalators like stairs, and avoid folding into a chair in the terminal. Stateside airports with yoga rooms include SFO, DFW, ORD, and BTV. Overseas you can find them in London’s Heathrow, Hong Kong, and Helsinki. Or try these 12 yoga positions on the plane that include seated twists, savasana, and cat/cow, and neck and shoulder rolls. Stand and take a lap whenever possible.

      PS - be sure to pack your favorite Enell sport bra. Whether tackling mall sales or your younger brothers in the backyard, you’ll want to be prepared for any physical activity opportunities that present themselves!

      2016’s Trendiest Ingredients Make the Best Summer Smoothies

      2016’s Trendiest Ingredients Make the Best Summer Smoothies

      Smoothies are the ubiquitous summer drink that double as a meal or snack that basically everyone has had by now. While fruits and vegetables blend into smoothies in the winter as easily as summer, there’s something so much more refreshing about them this time of year. When you’re trying to hit that breakfast trifecta of fast, easy, healthy, the smoothie is where it’s at. You can sip down most of your daily produce needs in one sitting and be on your way in minutes.

      Plus, let’s not kid ourselves, you look great carrying a smoothie. The ones that look like muddy swamp juice are all the more intriguing… “Wow, she really takes care of herself.” And the ones that have a pop of color complement summer attire, or perhaps a bright and colorful sport bra!

      Smoothies may be trendy, but they’re one trend you can embrace. So if you’re going to have a trendy drink this summer you may as well fill it with some trendy ingredients. You need something to keep your Instagram and Pinterest followers on their toes, right?

      5 best summer smoothies

      Here are some new smoothie recipes to add to your repertoire this summer using some of the year’s trendiest “on point” foods.

      • Mint Chocolate Seaweed Shake: wakame seaweed, cacao nibs, fresh mint, bananas, spinach, vanilla
        Seaweed does offer protein and minerals, but richness may be exaggerated for realistic serving sizes. Iodine is the key benefit here, lacking in most foods and necessary for thyroid health.
      • Papaya Strawberry Kombucha Smoothie: papaya, strawberry, kombucha, honey
        Fermented drinks like kombucha are all the rage this year, either because people actually love it or because they can’t get enough of those probiotics for healthy digestion.
      • Natural Protein Smoothie: berries, bananas, chickpeas, milk
        The UN called 2016 the year of the pulses -- chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas -- citing their stellar nutritional profile. Not just for hummus, these legumes add a powerful protein punch to a smoothie.
      • Tropical Carrot, Turmeric, Ginger Smoothie: orange, carrot, mango, coconut water, hemp, ginger, turmeric, cayenne
        Hard to tell in that list but turmeric is a big, spicy star this year. This anti-inflammatory is most common in curries, but adds a peppery, warmth (and color!) to more hearty smoothies like this one.
      • Paleo Black Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie: raspberries, blackberries, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut milk.
        You’re getting three times as many antioxidants in the black raspberry than the garden variety. And they are not the same as a blackberry; they have several discernable differences. Most notably, black raspberries are less tart.

      The Most Delicious Food Trends for the Summer

      The Most Delicious Food Trends for the Summer

      Are you so over using cauliflower as a substitute for everything? Have you downed your last kale salad? Here’s a look at the newest summer food trends. We hope you try a few soon.

      food trends

      Hyper-fresh / Hyper-local

      Look for restaurants to grow their own food. Quite a few chefs are growing their food either on nearby farms or the roofs of their restaurants. This way, chefs can control their guests’ dining experience and guarantee they are using only the best ingredients.

      Cooking classes

      A quick glance through your local adult education center catalog will reveal chefs sharing recipes as a dining experience. Students will have the opportunity to learn cooking skills and tips while preparing a delicious meal. Usually held on quiet restaurant nights (think Mondays), it’s an opportunity for chefs to build loyal clientele and educate foodies.

      Fermented everything

      Pickling and fermenting are big, and you’ll see everything (even kale) fermented and served as a garnish or side dish. Many chefs do the work on premises (again, to control the flavors of their dishes. Americans aren’t used to fermented foods so be brave and sample, you might just like it.

      Farmers markets continue to grow

      The USDA tracks 8,268 farmers markets in the U.S. While the number of markets appears to be leveling off, their size and product offerings will continue to grow as farmers begin offering locally processed foods (think chicken pot pies and gourmet pasta sauces). It can be easy to buy too much, but there are some frugal farmers market tips you can use to stay on budget.

      Gluten-free options

      Many restaurants recognize changing dietary needs and gluten-free is a big request from diners. Chefs will accommodate guests by holding the breadbasket and expanding menu options with more gluten-free fare.

      Artisan wheat

      At the same time, chefs are looking to reinvigorate wheat choices by using heritage grains and old-world cooking techniques. Flour may be ground on site instead of purchased already processed to keep the flavors fresh. Also, some foodies say heritage varieties of grain don’t have the same effects as modern strains.

      Healthy kids meals

      Parents will frequently make healthy choices while their kids dine on hot dogs and French fries for dinner. The newest trend, likely started by McDonald’s, is to have healthier options for kids for dinner. Think more fruit, creative veggie sides and baked instead of fried options.

      Sustainable choices

      As we learn more about how our food gets to our tables, many consumers are actively seeking more sustainable choices. Look for meats and seafood that won’t harm the environment and choose organics over conventional foods to help the bees and keep pesticides to a minimum.

      What new food trends do you want to try this summer? Learn more about clean eating.

      Lisa Johnson blogs at where you can find healthy recipes and fun ideas about food.

      Clean Eating You Can Actually Understand

      Clean Eating You Can Actually Understand

      Eating has become too complicated. Allergies, sensitivities, trendy ingredients, trendy nutrients, this diet, that diet… no wonder no one can figure what to actually put in their mouths.

      When it comes down to it, just eat clean. It’s a facet or tenet of most eating plans out there, but it gets dressed up and covered up by a bunch of other more marketable phrases, like locavore. Clean eating is a mindful approach to food — eating real foods, those that are minimally processed, fresh when possible, and free of junk ingredients like dyes and chemicals. It’s food the way nature intended! It’s how our grandparents ate.

      clean eating

      What you end up eating are whole foods — fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, whole grains, fish, poultry, eggs. These foods naturally contain the macro (and micro) nutrients you need to fuel your body. These foods deliver optimal nutrition, satiate with fiber, and even satisfy with fresh, simple flavor.

      Eating in this style will give you the energy you crave, the focus you feel you’re lacking, the nutrition your immune system needs, and a host of other disease-fighting, health-boosting benefits. Even your hair, nails, and complexion stand to benefit.

      Makes sense, right? When we “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” as Michael Pollan prescribes, our diets are free of most impurities and our bodies are allowed to operate in the way in which they were intended. You don’t necessarily need to count calories, but maybe pay more attention to your macros — carbohydrate, protein, fat. Every food is comprised of these macro ingredients. While every person’s body and physical needs are different, a good rule of thumb is a division of 40/30/30 percent for the day, respectively. The MyFitnessPal app does an excellent job of tracking these macros for you.

      How does this actually look on your plate? Consider a daily meal plan like this:


      Hard boiled eggs with oatmeal topped with fresh berries and nuts


      Cottage cheese with fresh peach slices


      Greens (kale, spinach, baby greens) caesar salad with grilled chicken and roasted vegetables


      Baby carrots and hummus, or our Apricot Sunflower Protein Balls


      Grilled fish like salmon or cod, baked sweet potato topped with olive oil, and steamed broccoli


      Limit soda (especially diet), fruit juices, and other sugar-heavy, processed drinks. Your body needs water, which can be drank pure or via hot or cold unsweetened tea. A little coffee won’t hurt, either!


      Your go-to candy bar or ice cream fix isn’t exactly clean, nor is it off limits. Consider the moderation rule and treat yourself on occasion. Or make healthier swaps. Trade a milk chocolate bar for a piece of 65% dark chocolate. Swap that pint of ice cream for true frozen yogurt — stir up your favorite Greek yogurt before dinner, place in the freezer, and enjoy an indulgent FroYo later!

      KomBOOBcha: Everything Your Breasts Need to Know About Fermented Tea

      KomBOOBcha: Everything Your Breasts Need to Know About Fermented Tea

      Not hip to this latest beverage trend? Here’s the skinny. Kombucha is sweetened, black tea that’s been fermented based on a starter bacteria and yeast called a SCOBY, or “the mother.” (Have you ever passed around the yeast for sourdough or Amish friendship bread? It’s like that … only you drink it.) Cut off the SCOBY, start the tea with sugar, seal it up nice and tight, and in a few weeks you’re sipping homemade kombucha. Or, for about $4 per 16-ounce bottle, you can buy the stuff ready to drink.

      Kombucha is lauded for being quite the little health proponent, offering this class of tea drinkers better gut health, digestion, energy, and staving off disease. It’s been giving bodies a heavy dose of vitamins, enzymes and immunities for some 2,000 years.

      It’s high in acidity and has trace amounts of alcohol (because it has less than .5 percent by volume, it doesn’t have to be labeled). For overall health, kombucha seems to attract more loyal sippers every day. If you’re pregnant, nursing, or at risk of breast cancer, make sure to read some kombucha fine print first.

      Pregnancy and Kombucha

      Kristen Michaelis drank it throughout her pregnancy, but warns first timers to start slow. Some people have undesirable reactions to kombucha, which could only exacerbate any symptoms you’re already dealing with. Because it can regulate bowel movements, it may offer a relief for pregnancy constipation. It also offers a natural energy boost without any caffeine.

      Breastfeeding and Kombucha

      Now, the jury is quite hung on whether or not you can nurse while kombucha’ing. Some, like Michaelis, have no downsides to report. Although she does warn that the effects you feel from the drink can pass along to your infant, like loose stools and extra energy. Other sources report that kombucha is contraindicated, the highest risk for nursing mothers. It gets an L5, a safety classification for medications and herbs taken during breastfeeding. The bottom line if you’re nursing? Talk to your doctor and together you can determine what’s best for you and your baby.

      Cancer and Kombucha

      Naturalists sing high praise for kombucha, suggesting it can help patients fight cancer. In the ancient areas in Asia and Russia where kombucha hails from, the people live in virtually cancer-free zones. Of course, Western medicine does not endorse kombucha for treatment at all. The American Cancer Society says there is no scientific evidence to support such claims. Memorial Sloan Kettering warns immunosuppressed and chemotherapy patients against drinking kombucha.

      It’s Tea Time for Your Tatas!

      It’s Tea Time for Your Tatas!

      Tea has been lauded for centuries for a host of health benefits. The wellness boon waiting in each cup of tea is mostly attributed to the rich concentration of polyphenols (antioxidants) found in green and black teas. While real tea is only derived from the camellia sinensis plant leaves, many herbal combinations have been “deemed” as tea since they are stepped in hot water before sipping, too.

      Almost liken to yoga or the app store, there is seemingly a tea for just about everything. Any good naturalist is all too familiar with leaning on plants, especially tea, for non-medicinal remedies. And yes, that extends to the breasts. Tea has been linked with everything from making them grow to helping them produce more milk.

      Here are a few ways a proper cuppa tea might do a healthy favor for the ladies.


      Mother’s milk is an herbal tea (meaning there aren’t any actual tea leaves present) that is praised by mothers to support their production of breast milk. The primary, or “active,” ingredient is fenugreek, a leafy plant that is commonly used in Indian cooking. However, in this use, the seeds are often complemented by other herbs to produce the tea. Fennel, anise, and coriander are other familiar ingredients in this bitter-sweet tasting drink that can be served hot or cold.


      The benefits tea provide in the prevention of cancer -- including breast cancer -- are substantial and even confirmed by the National Cancer Institute. The polyphenols in tea can inhibit tumor cell reproduction and promote cell death. Green teas are linked with activating detoxification enzymes that can protect against tumor development in the first place.

      Green tea is especially important for preventing breast cancer. Its antioxidants reduce urinary estrogen, a carcinogen that promotes breast cancer.

      Breast Enhancement

      Pure spearmint tea (an herbal tea) has had some connections with promoting the growth of breast tissue. It actually works to block testosterone, thereby no longer impeding the growth. It’s certainly not a quick or overnight solution, but women do report seeing some growth.

      The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook gives similar credit to fennel seed “tea,” made by brewing no more than a teaspoon of fennel seeds in a day. The natural plant-based estrogen it provides can promote breast growth.

      Caution is advised against overconsumption of caffeine, which would be more than 300-400 milligrams per day. That would be about six cups of black or green tea, or three cups of black coffee! Also, staying within that caffeine range allows tea to count toward your daily water intake goals.

      24 Succulent Breast Recipes for the Holiday Season

      24 Succulent Breast Recipes for the Holiday Season

      Recipe inspiration seems to strike more this season than any other. There’s a desire to dazzle and impress with each plate you serve as you celebrate with friends and family. Up your culinary game or simply change the health scape of your home-cooked menus when you use breast meats.

      This underrated ingredient is lean, tender, and flavorful. The cut of meat is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. And the list hardly stops at just predictable chicken and turkey. Poultry breast options abound, each offering a unique flavor profile and opportunity to upgrade your “chicken-something” dinner rut.

      “The less popular poultry types are often just as lean [as a holiday turkey], and good for the waistband, and even more flavorful than your standard bird. They offer a deeper, earthy flavor that goes very well with the traditional holiday sides, especially the cranberry sauce (from real berries, not the jellied can variety!),” explained Gina Nelson, chef and yoga expert with AcaciaTV.

      We’re sharing a few of our favorite breast recipes, and her best preparation tips. Since breasts come in pairs, we’ve found two new, intriguing recipes for each of these poultry types.


      White Wing Dove-Style Grilled Quail

      Sauteed Quail Breast Pecan Bourbon Sauce


      Dove Enchiladas

      Dove Ravioli with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette


      Seared Duck Breast with Cherries and Port Sauce

      Five Spice Duck Breast with Blackberries


      Wild Goose Breasts with Orange Glaze

      Goose Breast with Apricots 


      Duck Fat Turkey Breast with Green Onion Puree

      Spicy Maple Turkey Breast


      Oven Baked Sriracha Chicken

      Pinot Grigio Chicken with Honey Citrus Glaze 


      1. The cooking technique that offers the most consistent results is roasting in the oven. When properly executed, roasting produces a crispy golden brown exterior and a juicy tender interior.

      1. Don't assume that you can cook a chicken breast the same way you would duck. Smaller birds roast at higher temperatures to produce crisp skins without overcooking the meat. Larger birds start at higher temperatures to brown the skin and finish at lower temperatures to produce even cooking.

      1. Determining doneness is best done with a thermometer. Most poultry should be cooked to 165 degrees F. An exception includes duck, which is often best served medium rare.

      1. Meat should be rested for approximately half of the total cooking time before being sliced. This allows the meat to redistribute the juices for tender bites throughout.

      1. Don't be afraid to experiment with various types of poultry. Understanding their composition (fat content, dark meat versus white) is the key to producing a delicious product.

      Raise a Glass to 10 Classy Cocktails and Mocktails

      Raise a Glass to 10 Classy Cocktails and Mocktails

      There’s so much to celebrate this time of year and for some, that’s best done with a pretty glass of something very sippable. Maybe you reached a weight loss goal this year, completed a certain number of marathons, or just made it through the year with your sanity still intact... all worthy of a boisterous, delicious cheers!

      For calorie counters and sugar watchers, alcohol can be like playing with fire. A glass of wine may have 120 calories, a light beer around 105 calories, and a big frozen margarita can clear more than 600 calories! Tequila shots run 100 calories a piece, as does a simple glass of champagne. On a big party night, it can certainly all add up.

      Raise a glass to 10 classy cocktails and mocktails

      Some make it work with their plan and some are happy to forgo that indulgence for another. So we’ve rounded up some super festive cocktails and mocktails to help you close out this year and ring in the next without making any sacrifices and in the style you prefer.


      Dry Cucumber Cooler Cocktails

      Blackberry & Basil Martini

      Classic Moscow Mule

      Ginger Beer Mojito

      Sorbet Mimosas


      Pink Grapefruit “Margaritas”

      Pink “Not” Champagne

      Virgin Moscow Mule

      Virgin Sangria

      Festive Cranberry Fizz


      Want to play mixologist and create your own cocktails and mocktails on the fly? The key is a well-stocked bar. As you prepare to host your next party, be sure to put these items on your shopping list to serve light, refreshing drinks.

      • Club soda, tonic water, or flavored waters like La Croix

      • Ginger beer or ginger ale

      • Orange, apple, tomato, or cranberry juice

      • Fresh fruit and berries: apple, clementines, raspberries, blackberries, celery

      • Fresh herbs: mint, rosemary, basil

      • Lemons and limes

      • Hot sauce

      • Red and white wine

      • Vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, gin

      Winter Smoothie Recipes Inspired by Seasonal Produce

      Winter Smoothie Recipes Inspired by Seasonal Produce

      Who says smoothies have a season? Well it’s not us, and it’s certainly not our blender.

      Just because summer is over and the farmers market has closed up shop doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of produce to be enjoyed over the late fall and winter months. In fact, the bounty is just as beautiful, nutritious, and delicious as its fair-weathered harvest counterparts.

      In October you’ve got pumpkins, apples, pears, papaya, and coconut. November brings carrots, bananas, beets, cranberries, and avocado. Then December delivers kale, tangerines, oranges, and dates. Tell me you can’t make a handful of exceptional smoothies with those ingredients?

      Smoothies are an all-year, all-weather meal. We love ‘em because they’re quick and easy to make, completely filling and satisfying, and provide a hyper-shot of fruits and vegetables anytime of day. Especially at breakfast, smoothies make an exceptional meal for kicking off the day ahead.

      12 Winter Weather Smoothies

      Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie --  banana, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, cinnamon

      Ginger Pear Smoothie -- pear, ginger, banana, cinnamon, flax

      Papaya, Green Apple, Orange Smoothie -- papaya, green apple, orange, honey, vanilla

      Toasted Coconut Smoothie -- coconut flakes and milk, banana, flax

      Oaty Chocolate Hot Smoothie -- dark chocolate, almond milk, banana, oats, chia

      Apple Pie Protein Smoothie -- apple, banana, dates, ginger, cloves, cinnamon

      Banana Bread Smoothie -- oats, banana, cinnamon, almond milk

      Paleo Cinnamon Roll Smoothie -- banana, apple, coconut milk, cinnamon, honey

      Cranberry Avocado Orange Smoothie -- banana, avocado, cranberry, orange

      Kale/Apple/Spinach/Beet/Strawberry -- ultimate fall goodness with some familiar smoothie base fruits

      Fresh Cranberry Orange Smoothie -- almond milk, orange, cranberry, maple syrup

      Pumpkin Cashew Butter Smoothie -- pumpkin puree, cashew butter, blueberries, banana, flax

      What’s your favorite smoothie in the fall and winter?


      Crave Real Pumpkin to Do Your Fall Body Good

      Crave Real Pumpkin to Do Your Fall Body Good

      SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31ST, 2015

      Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s pumpkin season. The season formerly known as autumn has taken over almost every facet of our lives.

      In the last five years there hasn’t just been “noticeable growth” for the pumpkin spice industry, there’s been a sonic boom of popularity for this otherwise basic blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, according to McCormick’s recipe. 

      Is all of this gourd-love doing us any good? Only if you’re actually eating real pumpkin.


      Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, owner of and the California Avocado ambassador, heralds the many benefits real pumpkin offers. She says pumpkin is:

      • Rich in vitamin A, which promotes skin and vision health, “particularly night vision and in dim lights.” 
      • Good source of potassium, something 97 percent of us don’t get enough of. Note that one cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana!
      • Rich in tryptophan (yes, the amino acid in turkey), which creates a sense of soothing and calmness. 
      • Excellent source of fiber, with three grams in a cup (49 calories). Pumpkin can “dilute calories in other things like richer foods – sauces, macaroni and cheese. It adds volume and value without adding calories.”

      If you’re eating the pumpkin-flavored lattes, cookies, yogurts, donuts and other “seasonal” treats, as opposed to eating whole pumpkin, you’re not reaping any of these healthful benefits. 

      “It’s important to not just look at the pumpkin, but look at the whole profile of the food you’re eating,” suggested Bonnie, who explained that the pumpkin cookies and candies may conjure that comfortable pumpkin feeling but then lead to discomfort after you’ve eaten it. The reason being these fake pumpkin products, relying more on the spice flavor than any actual pumpkin, are loaded with sugar and fat to make the flavor appealing. Thus, everything from Oreos to Pringles are bestowed a health halo because they write pumpkin on the label. 

      If you really crave that autumnal pumpkin flavor and experience, Bonnie suggests enjoying the real thing! Her Pumpkin Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips and Almonds is a delicious example of how to enjoy all of that pumpkin goodness without the halo hype.

      A few other ideas include: 

      • Pumpkin muffins
      • Swirl into macaroni and cheese
      • Real pumpkin pie
      • Mixed with mashed potatoes, or just do mashed pumpkin
      • Sauces, nice beautiful creamy sauce for pasta or for a chicken dish
      • Cream with mashed white beans for a delicious chicken topping
      • Add to soups
      • Starbucks-style Pumpkin Spice Latte with Real Pumpkin

      The most important message Bonnie can deliver about pumpkin? “You don’t have to wait until fall to enjoy it,” she says. “Just like turkey, which has really been typecast, it’s available all year long.” She recommends ignoring the marketing-imparted season for pumpkin, and other healthful foods like turkey, and just enjoy the versatility that they offer all year long.

      Recovery Super Foods Endurance Athletes Should Drink Up

      Recovery Super Foods Endurance Athletes Should Drink Up

      MONDAY, OCTOBER 19TH, 2015

      Everyone knows you should properly fuel before a workout to give your body the energy and nutrients it needs to perform whatever task you’re demanding of it. If we do remember to fuel we typically lean on protein bars, shakes, and other “manufactured” nutrition. Have you considered that there’s a sweeter, more natural option? 

      Tart Cherry Juice

      “The best way to accelerate muscle recovery after exercise is to prevent muscle damage from occurring during exercise. And one of the best ways to prevent muscle damage during exercise is to consume the right nutrients before exercise. Tart cherry juice does just that,” reported Matt Fitzgerald, author of 80-20 Running, at

      Tart cherry juice has become a darling of endurance athletes in recent years because its rich anti-inflammatories accelerate recovery, increase training capacity, boost performance, and decrease muscle pain. What runner, triathlete, cyclist wouldn’t want those benefits?

      The foremost study on the subject, conducted by Dr. Glyn Howatson, exercise physiologist and Laboratory Director in the School of Psychology and Sports Sciences at Northumbria University, found that the phytochemicals, particularly the anthocyanins found in Montmorency cherries, offer the anti-informmatory and antioxidating properties that provide all of these key benefits. His research has found this to be more concentrated in the juice than in the whole cherry, offering exercisers a more effective recovery from strenuous physical activity.

      Fitzgerald recommend drinking the tart cherry juice before an event, as it may get you to the finish line faster. As well, he suggests that its ability to aid recovery may make getting up the next morning more comfortable, too!

      Beetroot Juice

      Another unexpected source of super nutrition for athletes is beetroot juice, which has been noted to increase time trails.

      “Cyclists who ingested half a liter of beetroot juice before a 2.5-mile or a 10-mile time trial were almost three-percent faster than when they rode unjuiced,” reported the New York Times.

      That same study they covered found that the beetroot juice improved blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, which only serves to improve performance and recovery.

      Chocolate Milk

      The sweetest yet of the unexpected performance drinks is chocolate milk! That “dessert” beverage you’ve likely avoided indulging in for years is heralded as an optimal choice for athletes.

      “It helps replenish the muscle tissue and actually gives you a shorter recovery time,” Ingrid Nelson told the Washington Post.

      The milk creates “healthy” spikes in insulin that are used to move sugar into the muscle, where it turns into glycogen (energy storage). In turn, it also activates muscle protein repair and growth.

      It’s not the chocolate or the cacao that’s doing this though, it’s the sugar, according to Rebecca Scritchfield, RD in the same Washington Post piece. Any flavored milk (vanilla, strawberry, etc.) is going to produce the same results. What you want to look for is a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. The milk on its own just doesn’t have enough of the carbs (or sugar).

      In research conducted at Indiana University, they found that the chocolate milk was a “super fuel for exhausted muscles,” and that it “performed as well as Gatorade and almost twice as well as another sports recovery drink, Endurox.”