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Cranberry, orange, almond smoothie

You may think of cranberries as a fruit option only between Thanksgiving and Christmas when popular dishes like cranberry sauce and cranberry baked goods prevail. But there are plenty of reasons to eat the fresh, ruby red fruit all year long. Cranberries have long been known to help reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections. They also contain important vitamins such as C, E, K, manganese, fiber, and loads of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to limit the damage caused by free radicals in your body, and help reduce signs of aging as well as helping to fight cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cranberries may also reduce bad cholesterol, help fight gum disease, and boost your immune system. Get the picture yet? Eat more cranberries! You can add fresh or dried cranberries to any number of salads, salsas, smoothies, or dishes, but eating them fresh delivers the most health benefits. This…

10 easy ways to start a healthier lifestyle

New Year’s resolutions get a bad rap — for a good reason. Does anyone actually find those things useful? Don’t waste your time setting big resolutions that you’ll dump before the end of the month. Instead, set a few small intentions that will make this year your healthiest ever, guaranteed. Here are 10 easy ways to get started on a healthier lifestyle. Cook at home more It’s true. Weight loss begins in the kitchen. As a rule of thumb, getting in shape amounts to about 75 percent diet and 25 percent exercise. That means even if you workout religiously, you still can’t sneak away to the corner cantina for daily overstuffed burritos and expect to shed pounds. Homemade meals will always be your best bet because you’re more aware of what you’re eating — and you can control it. You can ensure you’re getting the protein, fiber, and other nutrients…

Healthy avocado egg salad

This avocado and egg salad is one of my favorite homemade lunches because it’s healthy, tastes great and uses Greek yogurt instead of mayo! Tuna salads and egg salads are often passed off as healthy, but they’re so loaded with fatty mayo that you might as well have opted for a cheeseburger! This salad has only healthy fats from fresh avocado. Plus, it doesn’t have that gooey, wet consistency that mayo gives. Ew. I can hear the stickiness now. This salad is everything you want from a lunch — It’s easy to make ahead, it’s packed with protein, and it’s full of flavor thanks to the zingy Dijon mustard and smokey turkey bacon. Substitute the bread and arugula for a large lettuce leaf to cut carbs, if that’s your thing.  Either way, it’s the guilt-free lunch you need for healthy resolutions in the New Year! Healthy Avocado Egg Salad Ingredients…

Spicy cauliflower, arugula salad

I love when a restaurant dish inspires me to make something similar at home. It’s not that making it at home stops me from going back to the restaurant — the exact opposite, actually! I find that it keeps the menu item top of mind, so I actually can’t wait to return! This dish was a restaurant-inspired salad. Roasted cauliflower and raisins might not seem like they’d be the best of friends, but the combo is really quite nice, especially when the cauliflower is roasted with the spicy heat of Calabrian chili peppers. Add some arugula, Parmesan cheese, and lemon, and you have a unique flavor explosion that is creative, healthy, fresh and crisp. Spicy Cauliflower, Arugula Salad Ingredients Serves 4 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets 2-3 spicy chili peppers, finely chopped + 3 tbsp of hot pepper oil (more if you love heat) 4-5 large handfuls of arugula 2 lemons,…

Healthy carrot cake smoothie

Don’t you just love dessert for breakfast? Of course eating actual carrot cake for breakfast isn’t exactly a healthy or energizing way to start your morning, but this cool and creamy smoothie is the best of both worlds. Actually, you’ll love this smoothie anytime you want a perfect breakfast, dessert or even a snack. This carrot cake smoothie tastes just like your favorite carrot cake dessert, only lighter and healthier — so it’s totally guilt free. The Greek yogurt replaces with cream cheese so you’ll get a filling dose of protein instead of fat. Maple syrup makes for a great smoothie sweetener, and it can work really well, so start with just a tablespoon and adjust accordingly from there. It’s just eight ingredients and can be whipped up in no time with any high speed blender in under 5 minutes. Keep this one on file for the new year, or…

Lemon Almond Chicken Salad

Show me the person that isn’t looking for more delicious, healthy lunch ideas — we all are! Rarely are we dreaming of digging into a lunch we threw together at home in a hurry. So forget the sad salads you usually pack, and whip up a batch of this lemon almond chicken salad for tomorrow. With this recipe in your arsenal, you might actually stick to eating the healthy lunch you brought from home — and you’ll definitely look forward to it. The crunchy almonds are so satisfying, and the lemon pepper seasoning makes this recipe oh-so-craveable. Eat it with crackers, or wrap it up in a lettuce leaf for a low-carb option. It’s great all on its own, too! We snack on it by the spoonful at my house. There are tons of other ways to customize this recipe. Omit the tiny bit of mayo if you’re going for…

Warning: You may not want to use the pepper shaker at restaurants

The next time you’re out to eat, you may want to consider whether you really need to add salt and pepper to your meal. It turns out, pepper shakers are one of the dirtiest items in a restaurant. According to a study from ABC News, pepper shakers harbor one of the highest bacteria counts at a public dining facility with counts reaching 11,600 — second only to restaurant menus. (And for your complete disgust, restaurant menus were found to carry the most — an average bacteria count of 185,000 — and have 100 times more bacteria than your typical toilet seat.) The study examined swab samples taken from common table items at 12 restaurants throughout New York, Ohio, and Arizona. The swabs were then examined for “total bacteria counts and coliform — a broad class of bacteria found in our environment. The presence of coliform can indicated fecal matter.” Dr.…

How to avoid gaining weight during a cold winter

Winter started early this year, with many areas of the country seeing snowfall even before Thanksgiving. The East Coast was blasted with a freeze that sent frost and snow as far south as the Carolinas. Temperatures across the country dipped into the  low 20s —  And that was just the first few weeks of winter. It’s shaping up to be a particularly long, cold winter. But cold weather is no excuse to binge on booze and fatty comfort foods. It’s easy to reach for that mac and cheese, chili or homemade chocolate chip cookies when the weather stays dreary and cold outside, but you’ll most certainly regret it later. Here are a few tips to help you prevent winter weight gain: Watch your alcohol intake It might be tempting to pour yourself another glass of wine, or spike a little something in your hot chocolate, but on average, an alcoholic drink will add an extra 150…

How many calories will you consume at Thanksgiving dinner?

We’re not here to burst your Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, but if you’re concerned about calories on Turkey Day, you might want to take note. According to the Calorie Control Council, most Americans will consume around 4,500 calories next Thursday — and that’s during dinner alone! As if that’s not bad enough, most of us are in denial. According to a Basis Science survey, most Turkey Day diners expect to consume just 1,780 calories, and 75 percent of diners estimate their meal will clock in under 2,000 calories. While ignorance can be bliss, your pants will always know better. And you should, too. From appetizers to dessert, we took a look the calories in a traditional Thanksgiving holiday menu. Too scared to read on? No need. We won’t ask you give up gravy — or pie.  You can have an enjoyable holiday feast without depriving yourself. Just be mindful of what…

Easy cream free pumpkin bisque

This pumpkin bisque soup is made with ingredients you likely already have at your house. Isn’t it great when that happens? No special stop at the grocery store required — just get right to cooking, and this soup will be ready in 20 minutes. This recipe is perfect for cool, crisp October and November when everyone is craving pumpkin. But it’s easy enough, you’ll be tempted to make it all year long. It’s so tasty, there’s no reason not to! There is a hint of curry, but if it’s not your favorite, don’t be alarmed. It’s a fairly subtle flavor. The same goes for the coconut milk. They’re there, but they’re not overpowering. This recipe can easily be adapted to be vegan — just use vegetable broth. It’s also naturally dairy-free, so it’s great for serving when you’re not totally sure the modern day diets of your group of family…