Check out Udi’s Gluten-Free Foods, who currently offers a $1.00 Printable Coupon online, good for use on any of their products! Visit udisglutenfree.com to sign up for their newsletter and print out your coupon online. Limit 2 prints.

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Include These Bad Foods in Your Diet!

Yes, you heard me right! Sometimes foods labeled as “bad” or guilty pleasures can actually be good for you when enjoyed in moderation as a part of a balanced diet.

Here are a few naughty treats to add to your daily meals to improve your overall health:

  • Peanut Butter: Have you been avoiding fattening peanut butter since the mid-90s? You are definitely not alone! The good news is that although peanut butter is high in fat, it is not necessarily fattening.

Your weight directly depends upon the calories that you consume, so when you eat peanut butter in moderation in small portions, you won’t be at risk for gaining weight. A few tablespoons of peanut butter are less than 100 calories and provide you with healthy protein and folate to stimulate new cell growth.

  • Eggs: If you too have believed the negative rumors that eggs are high in cholesterol, you may have been avoiding egg yolks altogether. However, the medical community has now confirmed that trans-fat and saturated fats are more likely to raise your cholesterol than sources of dietary cholesterol.

On top of that, the protein in eggs makes them very satisfying. Eating eggs for breakfast will make you less likely to overeat at lunch so that you can effectively control your calories throughout the day.

  • Chocolate: This is the good news that you have been waiting for if you are a chocolate lover! Although commercial chocolate is full of sugar and fat, dark chocolate contains antioxidants that thin the blood and promote cardiovascular health.

Recent research from Switzerland revealed that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate each day for two weeks reduced the stress hormone cortisol in people with high stress levels.

  • Nuts: So many women avoid nuts since they are full of fat… but keep in mind that nuts contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats that are actually beneficial to your health. Nuts are full of healthy nutrients, which vary from nut and nut but may include antioxidants, vitamin E, omega-3 fats, and lutein.

It is important to monitor your serving size since nuts are high in calories, yet they can serve as a healthy, high-protein snack to give you a boost of energy in a midafternoon slump.

The truth is that you are what you eat! By including many of these so-called “bad foods” in your diet, you can greatly benefit your health, balance your diet, and intake extra protein to boost your energy each day.

Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician that co-owns her own website, The Coffee Bump. For a great selection of the Bodum French Press, check out Bethany Ramos’ website today!

Tart green apples take front and center in this lively salad, courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw!

Green Apple Salad with Toasted Almonds, Shaved Cheese and Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, torn
  • 3 packets Stevia Extract In The Raw
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 firm Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced thick
  • 3 ribs celery, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (about 24) whole almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 ounces (about 20 shaved slices) Manchego cheese (may substitute hard Gouda or Parmigiano Reggiano)

Preparation

In small saucepan combine apple cider and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Heat to boiling and continue boiling until liquid is reduced to a syrup. Set aside to cool.

In medium bowl toss together apples, celery, almonds and chives. Blend in vinaigrette.

Assemble salad on small plates, stacking the apples mixture and cheese in alternating layers. Drizzle with cider reduction to finish and enjoy.

Makes 4 servings.

*Recipe courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw.*

New from Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value! Stock up on their 12 new frozen delights no matter what the season so you will have fresh, organic produce that is always on hand. For those seeking affordable, organic produce that is rich in nutrients but won’t break the bank, Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value offers a full line of tasty options. New to the line-up of frozen fruits and vegetable blends are the Organic Southwestern Blend, Organic Mediterranean Blend (“Mom’s” favorite!), and Leafy Greens Blend. These three new blends offer convenience and health in easy-to-open packages that can be kept at the ready in your freezer, whether you need a nutritious side dish or some extra veggies for a homemade soup. In addition, the new Frozen Berry Blend is perfect for blending up smoothies for breakfast or for topping your favorite organic ice cream or yogurt!

Whatever you are cooking up in the kitchen, the 365 Everyday Value blends and other frozen goodies are both convenient and affordable, which most parents will appreciate!

Here are a few recipe ideas that “Mom” adores using items from the 365 Everyday Value line that are delightfully simple and family-friendly!

Greens with Carrots, Feta Cheese and Brown Rice

Organic Strawberries and Cream Cookies

Whey Protein Breakfast Blast

For more information on the Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value line, or to find more healthy recipe ideas to make for breakfast, lunch, & dinner, visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Head on over to YogaEarth™ to sign up for your free samples of both Balance and Vitality! You pay shipping and handling, and receive a 2-pack of both Balance and Vitality, plus $30 worth of other goodies!

Visit YogaEarth™ to take advantage of this eco-fabulous deal.

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

10 Little Known Ways to Burn Extra Calories Outside the Gym

While regular exercise is important to maintain your weight and protect your overall health, there are a few creative tricks that you can use to burn extra calories on a daily basis. Burning extra calories definitely adds up, meaning that you may be able to naturally shed a few pounds each year.

  1. Run your afternoon errands. Carrying groceries or heavy dry-cleaning while walking briskly can burn more than 100 calories in a half-hour. Bet you didn’t think that an afternoon of errands would provide a benefit in burning extra calories, did you?
  2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every minute of climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator will burn a whopping 7 calories.
  3. Fidget more often. If you have been accused of fidgeting recently, that may be a good thing! Studies have shown that fidgeting, like tapping your toes or walking around the house, will burn up to 800 more calories per day.
  4. Work out to your favorite music. Exercisers who listen to their favorite music are likely to work out for 25% longer, meaning 25% more calories burned.
  5. Pace when talking on the phone. If you pace back and forth while talking on the phone at home or in your office, you could actually burn 100 extra calories per day.
  6. Make out like teenagers. Every moment that you kiss burns one extra calorie – what a great reason to reconnect with your significant other today!
  7. Play games with your kids. Playing a game like hopscotch can burn several hundred calories within a half-hour. For the greatest burn, tap into your inner child and play with intensity!
  8. Dance like you mean it. Not only is dancing a wonderful stress reliever, but dancing for an hour could burn several hundred calories. This is the perfect excuse to head out for a ladies night with your girlfriends and go dancing.
  9. Get some much needed rest. When you sleep for a full night of seven hours, you burn 200 calories in the process. Additionally, making sure that you get the sleep you need will make it easier to stick to a regular exercise and healthy eating plan.
  10. Take up the hula hoop. If you’re looking for new and interesting ways to burn calories, a hula hoop just might do the trick. Using a hula hoop for 10 minutes will burn almost 50 calories; when you engage your core while using the hula hoop, it will also tone and shape your midsection.

Bethany Ramos is an aesthetician that co-owns her own website, The Coffee Bump. For a great selection of Bunn Coffee Makers, check out Bethany Ramos’ website today!

Filling and healthy, this nutritious muesli courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw makes a wonderful breakfast, at any time of the day!

German-Style Muesli

Ingredients

  • • 1 cup rolled oats
  • • 3 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • • 4-6 packets Stevia Extract In The Raw, as desired
  • • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
  • • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • • 1 tablespoon raw, hulled (out of shell) sunflower seeds
  • • 1/4 cup raisins
  • • 2 tablespoons chopped dates
  • • 2 tablespoons (about 3 whole) chopped dried apricots
  • • 1 cup light plain or vanilla soymilk
  • • 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • • 1 medium apple peeled, cored and grated

Preparation

In medium bowl, combine all grains and Stevia Extract In The Raw with the nuts and dried fruits. Blend well. (This mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.)

When ready to serve combine with soymilk, yogurt and grated apple. Stir to combine.

Makes 4 servings.

*Recipe courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw.*

Fresh berries, vanilla soymilk, yogurt, and bananas add fuel to your fire – naturally! This light and delicious shake courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw has just the right amount of sweetness and only 150 calories!

Berry Energy Shake

Ingredients

1 frozen peeled banana (about 4.5 ounces peeled), sliced

1/2 cup (2 ounces) fresh blackberries, pureed and strained

1/2 cup (2 ounces) fresh blueberries

2 packets Stevia Extract In The Raw

1/2 cup light vanilla soymilk

1/2 cup lowfat plain yogurt

2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ, divided (optional)

Preparation

Combine all ingredients except wheat germ in blender and process until well blended. Pour and serve.

Makes 1 1/2 cups or 2 (6 ounce) servings

Variation: If desired, add 1 tablespoon wheat germ to shake mixture before blending. Sprinkle remaining wheat germ on top of shake when serving.

*Recipe courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw.*

From Spice Girl to Savvy Green Mama! Mel B. and her adorable daughter, Angel, were recently spotted sporting a Born FreeTwist N’ Pop cup while out and about this Spring! Completely free of BPA (Bisphenol-A), harmful Phthalates and PVC, this cup will keep little Angel hydrated without worry! The Twist N’ Pop cup is available in 4 bright, fun colors, for your own little angel.

About Born Free

BornFree™ has developed a range of products baby bottles, cups and accessories that is totally free of the potentially dangerous chemicals Bisphenol-A (BPA), Phthalates and PVC. BPA is a known estrogen mimicker that is used in the production of polycarbonate plastic. According to researchers, BPA may cause developmental and neurological problems if it leaches from plastic. Reports suggest that small amounts of BPA may leach into food or beverages stored in polycarbonate containers, especially when the contents are heated. In addition, BornFree™’s cups and bottles feature the unique BornFree™ venting system, designed to reduce colic and ear infections. For more information, visit www.newbornfree.com.

*Company generously provided images and samples for this article.*

Cool and refreshing, this frosty blend using Cascade Ice Water will help you beat the heat this summer!

Orange Mango Cooler

Ingredients

1 cup orange juice

1 cup Cascade Ice Diet Tonic Water

1 cup Orange Mango Cascade Ice 2-calorie water

1 cup ice

Preparation

Mix and serve over crushed ice in tall glass. Serve with orange slices.

*Recipe courtesy of Cascade Ice.*