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Is it your little one’s first Thanksgiving? It is for ‘Mom’s‘ baby boy! Since he is not ready for turkey just yet, Happy Family has a wonderful array of Stage 3 Hearty Meals so he can enjoy the feast with us!

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From traditional turkey to chicken and more, there’s something for all growing babies ages 7 months and up to eat! Since cinnamon is a favorite flavor of “Mom’s” little guy, the Hearty Meals Fruits, Oats & Quinoa with Cinnamon is what he gravitates towards, as well as the Clearly Crafted™ Apples, Pumpkin, & Carrots. A lover of root vegetables, like squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, it seems like Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season are made for his taste buds!

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With three children, the Happy Family brand is a go-to brand in “Mom’s” household…and has been for years! You can always find Superfood Puffs and Organic Yogis tucked in a diaper bag or backpack for snacks when out and about, or the Gentle Teething Wafers on hand when first teeth are coming in!

This Thanksgiving, whether you are headed to Grandma’s house or hosting the family at your home, your tiniest tot will love to be included at mealtime, too – thanks to Happy Family!

To learn more about Happy Family, check out their website at www.happyfamilybrands.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Thanksgiving is in just a few days, and here is a delicious and waistline-friendly side dish recipe for the big meal so that you don’t have to prevent your abs from turning into that cranberry jelly belly!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

Ingredients

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
2 tbsp. honey
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste

1/2 cup thin shallots, julienned
1 tbsp. grapeseed oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a lagre bowl add the diced sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil, minced garlic, fresh chopped thyme and sage, honey salt and pepper. Mix and coat the sweet potatoes well and lay out onto a sheet pan. Roast until caramelized golden brown and tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Be sure to check the potatoes in the oven after the first 15 minutes, to see if they need to be rotated or stirred around.

While potatoes are roasting, heat a lagre skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of grapeseed oil and add the julienned shallots. Saute the shallots and continue to stir, allowing the shallots to caramelize without burning. Continue to saute the shallots until tender and well caramelized. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Once the sweet potatoes are done, gently toss the potatoes and the caramelized shallots together and add the parsley and lemon juice to finish the dish.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Food Network star, Robert Irvine.*

Food Network star, Robert Irvine and Gold’s Gym have teamed up for Trim the Fat Friday – offering healthy alternatives to traditional recipes and opening up Gold’s Gym locations nationwide for FREE on Friday, November 27th, inviting people to come in and work off their Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving is almost here and while you’re planning that great turkey dinner, don’t forget about sprucing up your home as you welcome friends and family to celebrate the holiday with you.

Designer Robin Wilson, founder and CEO of Robin Wilson Home, who focuses on creating healthy and beautiful spaces for her clients and has products at national retailers, offers these eight tips to create a warm, inviting and healthy home this Thanksgiving:

1. Start with curb appeal: The exterior is the first impression your guests get of your home so you want it to look clean and inviting. Add fresh mulch, trim overgrown trees and shrubs and plant new flowers, and make sure the front door is freshly painted. Always wear a mask to prevent breathing in fumes and goggles to protect your eyes.

2. Make the windows sparkle with newspaper: Yes, you read that right. Spray your windows with non-toxic cleaner and wipe away with newspaper. The high absorbency of newsprint makes it so effective at cleaning windows because it absorbs the liquid instead of pushing it away. Be careful to stay on the glass and not dirty up moldings and trim.

3. Clean the chimney and stove: This isn’t just to help Santa when he descends into your home next month. A dirty chimney is a fire hazard and can release toxins into your home. On a related note, it’s also a good idea to clean your stove before you do any intensive holiday cooking. It’s also a good time to make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have new batteries.

4. Switch to LED lighting: If you’re doing a lot of entertaining this holiday season, switching to LED lighting will keep your electric bills down. LED lighting is the most energy efficient lighting source available. And if you have young children, LED lights are cool to the touch.

5. Get your couches and rugs professionally cleaned: sofas and rugs can harbor all kinds of allergens, mold and bacteria. And if you have dogs or cats, removing the dander will help you and your guests prevent the “wheezes and sneezes.” Plus, a good looking couch will attract your company allowing time to catchup and reminisce, or just watch the parade or football games together.

6. Put on fresh bed linens: If out-of-town family and friends are staying with you, new linens are always a nice touch. Hypoallergenic comforters and pillows are a good choice especially if you don’t know if your guests have any allergy/asthma issues. For this reason, also use nylon shower curtains which don’t off-gas like vinyl does.

7. Non-toxic cleaners this time of year: With the cooler weather, most people keep their windows shut for the next five months, keeping everything sealed up and trapped inside. For this reason, it’s especially important in the winter to use non-toxic cleaners as you prepare your home for the holidays.

8. Make it smell like the holidays: To make it feel like the holidays it needs to smell like the holidays. Consider soy candles as a healthy alternative to regular candles, which not only add a visual element and warmth, but come in a variety of scents.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by artur84.*

It’s time to start preparing for what will be served on Thanksgiving, and the answer to an overly cooked, dry turkey is here! Now you can make a perfectly cooked, moist and delicious Thanksgiving Turkey using the Ronco Rotisserie Oven. The constant rotating of the rotisserie means that your turkey is continually basting as it cooks, while the high intensity heat means that you get the delicious, crispy skin you’re looking for on Thanksgiving Day! At “Mom’s” house, we prefer the D’Artagnan Organic Free Range Turkey for our Thanksgiving feast!

The Ronco Rotisserie Turkey

Brine Ingredients

1 teaspoon of Kosher salt per pound (make sure you use Kosher salt, sea salt and table salt will make your bird too salty)
1-2 tablespoons of cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Instructions

1. Mix together brine.
2. Remove neck and giblets from defrosted turkey
3. Using a paper towel, completely dry the inside and outside of your turkey.
4. Generously rub brine all over the outside and cavity of your turkey
5. Allow turkey to brine in the refrigerator, uncovered, in a large pan for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
6. When ready to cook, pat down skin with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, but not the salt brine
7. Place on to Rotisserie spit and cook for 12 minutes per pound. If using a meat thermometer, allow turkey to reach 165 degrees F.

Allow your turkey to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Tips from the Experts at Ronco:

For this recipe, which we’ve coined The Ronco Rotisserie Turkey, we used simple dry brine and cooked it in our 5500 Rotisserie (though you can use any of our rotisseries) for about 2 ½ hours. The result was a deliciously seasoned, moist, yet crispy Thanksgiving masterpiece. Dry brining works by opening the pores of the meat, allowing the natural juices to make the meat more moist, while crisping up the skin. I personally prefer a dry brine to wet because of the results and simplicity. A dry brine is basically 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat and any other seasonings you may want to add, however salt alone does the trick as well. The following recipe is what I used. Feel free to mix it up with your favorite seasonings.

On a side note, do not use a dry brine on a Kosher Turkey. It has already been pre-salted and will result in an overly salted bird.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Ronco.*

ID-10020857Have Yourself a Healthy Thanksgiving with Tips from THE DOCTORS

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is fast approaching and days are becoming filled with holiday planning, shopping and preparation. This time of year gives you the opportunity to gather with friends and family, cook festive meals and give thanks for your many blessings. But this jolly time of year can also have extreme implications on your health. THE DOCTORS share the following tips to ensure a happy and healthy holiday season:

Three Quick Tips to Avoid Overeating on Thanksgiving

· Eat Walnuts: Eat a handful before your meal. They will help fill you up, and the antioxidants can improve your artery function and reduce inflammation.

· Limit yourself to two alcoholic drinks: Alcohol removes your inhibitions, so if you drink before you eat, you’re going to overeat.

· Sit down and chew your food: You will enjoy your food more if you chew it slowly.

Healthy Holiday Snacking Tips

• Beware of foods loaded with butter and cheese: Steamed broccoli is healthy and low in fat, but when smothered in cheese and butter, it can pack an additional 215 calories and 16 grams of fat in just one cup!

• Watch out for salads: Leafy greens and salads seem like a healthy choice, but when loaded with high-fat, high-cholesterol cheeses and dressing, such as a Cobb salad, these verdant concoctions contain more than 1,000 calories and 71 grams of fat!

• Avoid saturated fats and fried foods: These are guaranteed to heavily increase the calorie count. Opt for baked options, rather than fried and reach for lean meats such as white turkey.

Beat-the-Bloat Tricks for Feeling Less Full

· Wear a watch: Keeping track of time and eating slower will help you notice when you’re getting full. Wait a couple minutes before returning for seconds – this will give your body the chance to digest food intake.

· Drink Water: This may seem like a no-brainer, but drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you eat 20% few calories. If you feel bloated, have a glass of peppermint tea instead, which helps prevent the feeling of being extremely full.

· Incorporate papaya and pineapple: These super foods have digestive enzymes that assist with digestion and help you feel less full after a large meal.

About THE DOCTORS

Featuring real doctors discussing topical health and wellness issues in an entertaining and engaging fashion, season six of THE DOCTORS launched September 9, 2013. The Emmy® Award-winning one-hour, daytime syndicated talk show continues to be hosted by physicians who are among the best in their respective field, including ER physician Dr. Travis Stork, plastic surgeon and reconstructive surgery expert Dr. Andrew Ordon and pediatrician Dr. James Sears; and recurring co-hosts, OB/GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton, urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman, family doctor and sexologist Dr. Rachael Ross and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Ian Smith.

THE DOCTORS sets itself apart from the competition through its wealth of experts – each of the co-hosts brings a specialized and unique background to the show including decades of experience, in order to provide viewers with well-rounded and easily understood prescriptions for health and wellness.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Eat The Turkey While Not Turning Into One: 6 Thanksgiving Dieting Tips

  1. Eat a light, healthy meal before Thanksgiving so you won’t be urged to gorge yourself in foods that have an abundance of calories.
  2. Instead of eating everything on the Thanksgiving table, only pick your favorite foods and have them in moderate amounts.
  3. If picking the lesser of two evils, go with Thanksgiving foods high in fat rather than carbohydrates. Your body always burns the fat first but, carbohydrates get churned into stored energy and later become fat.
  4. Drink lots of water as it fills you up and suppresses hunger.
  5. Hit the gym before Thanksgiving as it will turn your body into fat burning furnace and briefly enhance your metabolism.
  6. Instead of watching football on Thanksgiving, actually play with your family. It’s a fun way to burn off the calories.

About the Author

Daniel Radinsky is the CEO of the The Sadkhin Complex®, which has over 20 years of experience in the management of outpatient weight loss, and boasts an 87% success rate with over 60,000 clients to date. TSC specializes in the use of self-directed acupressure which stimulates the hypothalamus through 16 biologically-active points to control hunger and cleanse our organs. TSC also practices Chrono-Medicine, combining ancient Greek, Chinese, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Japanese and Egyptian philosophy with modern medicine to help the body function properly. Founded in 1989 by Dr. Grigory Sadkhin, Ph.D., TSC is headquartered in Brooklyn and has offices in Manhattan and Queens, Englewood and East Brunswick , NJ , and White Plains , NY.

*Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Host a Greener and More Meaningful Thanksgiving

It is no myth that the holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, is a time of family and togetherness, but most eco-conscious attempts seem to get lost in the shuffle.

Mother and green innovator, Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, Vice President of Earth Friendly Products and Dr. Nadereh Afsharmanesh, the green company’s Director of Sustainability, collaborated to form a list of simple ways moms across the country can host a greener, meaningful Thanksgiving.

Travel Smarter!

· Absolutely carpool – Yes, you are going to see your family a lot over the holidays, but carpooling really makes a difference, and what’s another 30 minutes!

· Get your Car Inspected! – Did you know that if your tires aren’t completely inflated or your oil isn’t changed, your car will use more fuel?

Veg Out!

· Try a tofu turkey or a ToFurkey! For many, it sounds like degradation to the tradition, but it’s an excellent meat substitute that takes on the flavors of the ingredients it’s cooked in! Plus, it’s jam packed with protein and has no tryptophan!

· Try to buy locally grown food that is organic. Not only does it better taste, but it’s eco-friendly, boosts your local economy and is free of harmful pesticides.

DIY Decor

· It’s no secret that the simplest decorations can be the most beautiful. Make it fun and engage your children by making it a DIY project. Try something like filling large hurricane glasses with dry leaves to decorate your table.

Show Your Thanks!

· Be grateful for all that nature provides and make a significant donation back.

· Plant a baby tree and make it a tradition each year! That tree, one day, will provide enough oxygen for a family of four.

· Invite your neighbors, friends and family and host a big, thankful celebration. The more people in one place, the merrier, plus you lower so many emissions by using one home!

Clean-Up

· Use your dishwasher! I bet you didn’t know that using your dishwasher uses much less energy and water than hand washing and most importantly, use eco-friendly detergent that is safe and 100% free of toxins.

· Don’t wrap leftovers in foil or plastic wrap, but in reusable, safe containers.

*Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Seitan is a protein made from gluten. When cooked, its texture is chewy and somewhat similar to meat, hence its nickname, “wheat meat.” There’s something elegant and comforting about this harvest combination scented with warming, earthy herbs. Courtesy of TODAY.com Food Editor Vidya Rao, this stewy dish makes its own gravy, perfect for serving with sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes or alongside any grain.

Seitan with Apples, Quince and Onion

(From Celebrate Vegan)

Ingredients

• 2 T olive oil
• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 2 cups of seitan chunks (Store bought, use your own recipe, or use my recipe from my first cookbook, The Urban Vegan)
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 small quinces, peeled and chopped (1/2-inch dice)
• 1 small apple, peeled and chopped (1/2-inch dice)
• 1 cup vegetable broth
• ½ tsp cumin
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp ground sage
• 1 T cornstarch
• 1 T brandy (optional)

Preparation

1. Heat oil over medium in a large casserole. Add onions. Saaute until soft, about 5 mins.
2. Add seitan. Saute, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Seitan should begin to brown a bit. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add quince, apple, veggie broth, spices and sage. Bring to a boil, then add brandy. Cook for a minute or two to allow alcohol to steam off. Turn heat to low.
4. With a ladle, transfer about ¼ cup of broth to a separate bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch to make a slurry, then stir it into the seitan mixture.
5. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Remove from heat and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving

Thanksgiving Decorations – Stylize Your Home With Fall Accents

Aѕ thе mоnth оf Novеmbеr аrrіvеѕ, еverуone’s thоughtѕ turn tоwards Thankѕgіvіng and everythіng thаt thіs marvеlоus hоlidау hаs to offer. Vаrіous ѕtores ѕеt uр theіr shеlveѕ wіth fаѕсinatіng dinnerwаrе ѕetѕ, tаble cеntеrріесеѕ, gіftѕ аnd dесor items. It is а time for fаmily tо cоmе tоgеthеr ovеr a dеliсiоus Thankѕgivіng meal with lіp ѕmасkіng turkey tо thank God for everythіng іn thеіr lіfe. Peорle like to dеcorаte on all specіаl daуѕ & оссaѕіоns, and Thanksgivіng іѕ not аn еxсeрtіon. Herе аrе ѕome grеat іdеaѕ fоr Thаnkѕgіvіng Decоrаtіons!

Tаblе Deсor:

Thаnksgіvіng is аll аbout having a thаnkful heart аnd аlѕо a grаnd dіnnеr, and whаt more соuld the hеart deѕіre, іf рresentation іs as equаlly рleaѕаnt aѕ thе ѕoul of thіѕ fеstivаl. Enhаncе the lооk оf dіnner tаble wіth easу Thankѕgiving tablе cеntеrріеcеѕ thаt wіll аct аs vіеwаble саtаlyѕtѕ tо wоrk up the арреtіtеs of the famіly! Thankѕgivіng соlleсtіbles bу Lеnоx аnd Prесіоuѕ Mоmеnts arе рerfесt to decorate dіnner tableѕ & homе соrnеrѕ. Pumpkіnѕ hollоwed and fіlled wіth flоwerѕ and fоod mаtеriаls lіke fruits аnd drу fruitѕ сan aсt аѕ wondеrful сеnterріесeѕ.

Rооm Dесоr:

Cаndlе deсorаtіоn іѕ реrfеct fоr any rоom. Thiѕ will gіve а nice tоuch tо the whоlе deсоratiоn. Sсentеd саndlеѕ or dесorativе сandlеs plасеd within beаutіful саndle holderѕ givе а pleаѕаnt touch tо the еnvіrоnment. Spreаd bеd sheеtѕ featuring рrіnts оf fall sеaѕon. Rugѕ fеaturіng the соrnucoріа or аutumn leаvеѕ аdd to the Thankѕgіvіng aura.

Doorѕ & Windоwѕ:

Thanksgiving wrеathѕ саn bе uѕed tо dесоratе doоrѕ аnd wіndоwѕ оf thе hоusе. Flowerѕ arе оne оf thе bеst dесоrаtіng items for every ocсаѕіоn. Flоwеr deсorаtіоn hаѕ the quality to gіvе a sрeсіаl tоuch tо аnуthing. Do ѕomе deсоr with flоwеrѕ оn taрestrу аnd upholѕtеrу. Lеаf garlаndѕ cаn wоrk wеll wіth wrеaths аs wеll aѕ the homе deсor. Stitch autumn lеаvеѕ аnd оthеr fall аccеntѕ togеther wіth thrеad or tіe bunсhеѕ and wirе them іntо gаrlаnd. It lоokѕ vеrу fаѕсіnаting!

Thаnkѕgіvіng іs lіkе dоorwау to the holidaу ѕеаsоn. Chаnging соlorѕ of leavеѕ сan bе an іnspiratіon for thе dеcorаtіng themе. Brіght оrаngеѕ, ruѕt colоrѕ and уеllow gоld ѕhаdеs саn be used аѕ fаll соlоrѕ wіth ѕоme rеds & brownѕ. Indіаn соrn, gоurdѕ, rоаѕtеd nutѕ & drіеd flowerѕ, Hаllowеen рumрkіns and рlentу оf othеr fоod іtеms cаn be usеd as nоminal Thаnkѕgіvіng dесorаtіоnѕ. One can аdd dесоrаtіvе itemѕ made frоm nаturе’ѕ fаll ассеntѕ aѕ well. Sо, get сreаtivе аnd uѕе yоur imаgіnatіоnѕ tо creаte wоndеrs. Anything mаkeѕ gооd Thankѕgivіng deсоratiоn if donе wіth ѕоme сrеatіvіtу.

Stоrеs likе Lеnоx аnd Potterу Bаrn саrrу an amаzіng rаngе оf Thаnksgіving dеcоrative itеms. Yоu саn shор оnlіne tо get these itеmѕ at diѕcounted priсeѕ.

About the Author

Ron Murphу is а Frеelаnсе wrіter аnd аn Intеrnеt Mаrkеtеr whо рrеѕеntlу wrіtеѕ аbout thе Latest Verizon Phones. He even blogs at a Green Energy niche site which talks about Home Made Energy.

Courtesy of TODAY.com Food Editor Vidya Rao, this elegant dish looks as good as it tastes. The deeply autumnal figs and toasty pecans contrast nicely against the inherent sweetness of the squash and agave nectar.

Fig-Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

(From Celebrate Vegan)

Ingredients

• 2 acorn squash halved lengthwise, seeded
• 1 T olive oil
• Salt and pepper
• 3 T vegetable margarine, such Earth Balance, melted
• 1/3 c agave nectar
• 3/4 c dried, de-stemmed Calimyra figs, chopped
• 1/3 c pecans, chopped
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Rub insides of acorn squash halves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn upside down onto a foil-lined cookie sheet (For easy clean-up later). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft.
3. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl
4. Remove squash from the oven and turn right side up. Fill halves with the fig mixture.
5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until filling is soft and bubbly.
6. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.