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How to order vegan from Taco Bell

Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you’re immune to late night hunger attacks or road trip snack stops. Vegans need their fast food fix just like the rest of us. If that growling stomach is sending you to the next Taco Bell, here’s what you can order from the menu without disregarding your lifestyle. Note: Taco Bell doesn’t guarantee that cross contact with meat products won’t occur. Additionally, some stores use the same frying oil to prepare vegan and non-vegan items, so depending on your level of commitment, you may want to ask additional questions when you arrive. 1. Crunchwrap The Crunchwrap is a beloved Taco Bell menu staple. And vegans can enjoy it, too. Just ask for beans instead of beef, and tell them to hold the sour cream and nacho cheese. Most locations won’t have any issues about sneaking you some extra salsa on top in place of…

Mango green smoothie

Smoothies are the fastest way to pack your diet full of greens. When I look at my blender bursting with handfuls of spinach or kale, I’m amazed at how easy it is to eat healthy when you have a few good smoothie recipes on hand. Not that I don’t love a big salad, but honestly, it’s not something I want every, single day. With smoothies, that doesn’t matter. I get my greens and so much more. Make this delicious Mango Green Smoothie and you’ll give your body a nutritious boost. Mango Green Smoothie Ingredients 1/4 cup coconut milk (from the carton) 1/4 cup water 1 tbsp chia seeds 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach 1 small ripe banana 3/4 cup frozen mango Directions Add ingredients to blender in the order above. Blend until smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy immediately! ALSO TRY, 9 healthy smoothie recipes.  Follow us on…

How to receive your refund from a food recall

First it was peanuts that we were trashing. Then came time to toss the romaine, avocado, veggies, beef, potatoes, flour, and then the eggs. The ingredients we’ve lost lately due to nationwide food recalls reads like a grocery list for a decadent holiday meal. While we’re horrified that so many people are getting sick from salmonella and other foodborne illnesses lately, it’s also worth considering your wallet. Are any of these companies willing to pay us back for the food we’re missing out on? The answer is yes, but you have to pay close attention to the recall directions. If you see a recall for a product you purchased, verify that your item has the specific code, sell by date, or whatever other identifying mark the company is using. Then you’ll have to determine who is responsible for giving you your refund. You can check the FDA’s website for a…

Raccoon gets stuck inside a Florida high school vending machine

Hey, when you’re hungry, you’re hungry. A ravenous raccoon apparently attempted to sneak away with some free food and instead wound up getting stuck inside a vending machine at a central Florida high school. The curious critter had to be freed by animal control. “This gentleman was apprehended today while committing burglary of a vending machine at Pine Ridge High School,” a post on the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Faceback page read. Thankfully, the law enforcement officials thought to snap a photo of the adorable, guilty-looking little guy to share with all of the world. Naturally, the internet loved it. “That bandit even wore a mask and still got caught,” wrote one user. Herr’s snack company, whose chips are visible in the photo, joined in on the fun, writing, “We think we know what he was after!” If you’re worried about the bandit’s safety, know that he’s good now. According…

6 Tips for packing back-to-school lunches on a budget

It’s the start of a new school year, and that means new teachers, new friends, and new lunchtime struggles. While it’s easy to fill your kids’ lunchboxes with pre-packaged snacks, that doesn’t do much in the way of keeping their growing bodies healthy. Sending kids to school with healthy lunches each day doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. “School lunches may not seem significant in a child’s life, but when you add up that they are eating them five days per week, it’s quite a lot of their calorie consumption,” said Dr. Nimali Fernando, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based pediatrician and founder of The Doctor Yum Project. “Teaching them healthy lunch habits from a young age will give them the tools to build lifelong healthy habits.” Many pediatricians are concerned that children simply do not get the amount of healthy foods they need to begin with. The Centers for Disease Control…

Asheville, North Carolina is best U.S. city for beer lovers, report shows

To say that craft beer is popular in America is a serious understatement. Once dominated by big time cities like San Diego, Austin, and Denver, now even tiny American towns can now point tourists and passerby to their local town brewery. Yes, Americans love beer. But what city can claim to be craft beer’s biggest fans? If you consider yourself a craft beer lover, perhaps you should pack your bags and head for Asheville, North Carolina. A recent data report compiled by ApartmentGuide.com shows that the outdoorsy southern city has the most breweries per capita of anywhere in the country. In fact, Asheville has nearly 30 breweries just within city limits (that’s 28 breweries for every 100,000 people), including nationally recognized names like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. Other outposts include Highland Brewing Company (Asheville’s oldest brewery, 1994), Green Man Brewery, French Broad River Brwery, Catawba Brewing Company, and Eurisko…

When will Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte return to stores?

The weather might still say summer, but for pumpkin lovers across the country, the calendar only means one thing — the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yes, September is right around the corner, meaning that PSL fans are pulling on their cozy sweaters and counting down the days. While Starbucks has yet to announce the official release date of the iconic drink, employees told Business Insider the pumpkin spice latte would be returning Tuesday, August 27 — it’s earliest release date ever.  Typically, the PSL returns right around Labor Day weekend. Starbucks employees have been posting photos of the Pumpkin Spice syrup arriving at stores throughout this month, further fueling PSL superfans’ cravings. Can’t wait until the end of August for a taste of fall? Dunkin’ has your back. On Monday, Dunkin’ announced it would launch its fall menu on August 21. Menu items returning include pumpkin spice drinks, coffee and…

The Unhealthiest Restaurant Meals in America, report shows

Few of us would choose to eat all of our daily calories, fat, and sodium in one sitting. But that’s exactly what you’ll get if you order some of America’s worst restaurant entrées. Thankfully, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) releases an annual Xtreme Eating Awards report, calling out the unhealthiest chain restaurant entrées out there, so we don’t have to make the mistake of ordering them. This year’s awards feature shockingly bad dishes and desserts that will set you back 1,500 to 2,300 — just for one serving! Of course we know that dining out isn’t the healthiest choice, and that milkshakes and burgers won’t put you on the fast track to weight loss anytime soon, but there’s a difference here. You can usually sensibly indulge your cravings without eating the equivalent of seven McDonald’s Sausage McMuffins — which is exactly what you’ll get if you…

How many calories do you burn drinking a glass of water?

Losing weight is all about “calories in, calories out.” But an often overlooked piece of this equation is hydration. Water can help keep your joints lubricated as your body powers through workouts, it boosts your energy levels, and it can help curb your appetite and keep you from drinking other calorie-laden beverages like soda or juice. And as an extra bonus? You will actually burn calories just by drinking a glass of water. It’s true. Basically, your body has to work to process anything that you send through your stomach. It’s called diet-induced thermogenesis. And while you won’t burn enough calories to justify eating an extra helping at dinner, it will add up over time. A study published in “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism” monitored calories burned after participants drank about 2 cups of water. Researchers found that drinking the water temporarily boosted metabolism, causing participants to burn an extra…

Survey finds 4 in 5 Americans take vitamins, but it could be causing them more harm than good

More than 86 percent of Americans take some form of over-the-counter vitamin or supplement in attempt to improve their health. After all, it can’t hurt — right? Unfortunately, no. Taking vitamins does come at a cost. According to a recent survey on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association, only about a quarter of people (24 percent) actually received test results indicating a nutritional deficiency. “Numerous investigations show the alleged benefits are unproven and in the worst cases, vitamins and supplements can be harmful,” said Mike Varshavski, DO, an osteopathic family physician. People with documented nutritional deficiencies can most often and most effectively correct the problem with a change in diet. Since supplements don’t work as well as most people assume, taking vitamins can distract or deter people from taking other steps to treat their ailments, like improving nutrition or moderate exercise. As the multibillion dollar vitamin industry grows, Dr. Varshavski says…