ID-10066385How To Curb Cravings At Holiday Parties

Don’t Go To a Party Hungry: One of the biggest mistakes I see during the holidays is people arriving to parties starving! It’s easy to think that the less you eat earlier in the day, the more room you’ll have to eat later at the party…and the less damage you’ll do overall. But this mindset has disaster written all over it! Instead, think this way: ruin your appetite. Have a healthy, filling snack before the party so that you won’t be tempted to dive into the spinach and artichoke dip as soon as you arrive. A hardboiled egg, a slice of turkey, or a Greek yogurt are all small but satisfying options that you can have at home prior to making your big entrance.

Bring Your Own Healthy Dish: It’s never polite to go to a party empty-handed, right? So why not bring a healthy dish you know you can rely on? Bring a salad with delicious, colorful toppings like cranberries, roasted carrots and squash. Think of it as your safety net so that you won’t have to worry if there’s nothing but diet-busters being served. We’re sure you’re not the only one who will appreciate a dish that’s (finally!) not candied, casseroled, or drowning in gravy.

Scope Out The Entire Party Spread: Once you get to the party, take your time. This is very important. It’s easy to jump at the first thing and every different thing you see. You know how it goes: there’s the cheese and crackers, then the pigs in a blanket, then the shrimp cocktail, and then all the main course dishes… And studies show people eat more when they’re offered a greater variety of foods. By taking a tour of all the food first, you won’t fall into this trap. Walk around and look at everything, deciding what’s healthiest and what you want the most. And only after you’ve seen it all should you decide what to put on your plate. That way, you can make an informed decision you’ll be proud of at the end of the night. There just may be some healthy options you want to indulge in!

Socialize (And Not Just With The Bartender!): You’re at a party. With PEOPLE. It’s not all about the food. Enjoy talking to and reconnecting with family, friends, and coworkers. If you make an effort to socialize, you’ll not only enjoy the night more, but you’ll be too preoccupied to think about that pecan pie every 2.2 seconds. A word of caution: be wary of “food pushers”, those who refuse to take “no” for an answer when offering unhealthy treats. My advice? Keep saying no, as many times as you have to. And don’t feel bad! It’s a GOOD thing that you put your health first. Just decline politely and hopefully Great-Aunt Sarah will stop trying to hand you sugar cookies.

About the Author

Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert and co-founder of MommyCoach, has put together a couple of tips for how to stay healthy, and how to help curb your appetite. If you’re unfamiliar, MommyCoach is a new online community for moms around the country to connect with leading experts and coaches for advice, encouragement, and answers to those hard-to-crack questions.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

ID-100101872Tips for Staying Healthy Through The Holiday Season

Plan Non-Food-Centered Activities: Take the focus off food. There are so many ways to spend time together besides cooking, baking, and eating. Instead of decorating cookies and gingerbread houses, make non-edible crafts like wreaths, paper snowflakes, or holiday cards.  Bundle up to take a walk around the neighborhood and rank the best decorated houses. And light a fire to gather around while you play charades or watch holiday movies.

Bring Snacks To The Mall: Welcome to the real jungle. There’s no denying how tempting it is  seeing peppermint mochas or smelling cinnamon rolls (from a mile away, no less). And with the  stress of the crowds and finding the right gifts for everyone, you can be in over your head fast.  You have to be smart enough to sidestep these hazards. The easiest way to make it out alive?  Pack filling healthy snacks like nuts, a piece of fruit, or a bag of air popped popcorn, and you  won’t need a search and rescue team to pull you out of the food court.

Make Your Own Hot Chocolate: Ditch the packaged powders and go for the real thing. Many  hot chocolate powders are convenient and boast very few calories, but they are chock full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals! Our recipe uses maca, a powder grown in the Andes Mountains of Peru and packed with nutrients, and cacao powder, a less-processed version of  cocoa powder that’s a great source of antioxidants. Spend a cozy afternoon in the kitchen with  your kids and cuddle up in with this super food hot chocolate recipe.

Boil water or warm milk on the stove and let cool slightly, then mix in the following ingredients:

● 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
● 2 teaspoons maca powder
● 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
● 1 teaspoon honey
● Pinch sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pure vanilla
● 1 ½ cups milk of your choice or water

Be Mindful of Your Hunger Quotient: Your HQ is a measure of how hungry you are at a  given time – famished, satisfied, stuffed. Try to be in tune with your HQ and let hunger dictate  when you eat (versus having a serving of stuffing just because your sister brought it over). On a  scale of 1-10 (1 being stuffed, 10 being famished), you want to be between a 4 (slightly hungry)  and a 6 (slightly satisfied) all the time.

About the Author

Keri Glassman, nationally recognized nutrition expert and co-founder of MommyCoach, has put together a couple of tips for how to stay healthy, and how to help curb your appetite. If you’re unfamiliar, MommyCoach is a new online community for moms around the country to connect with leading experts and coaches for advice, encouragement, and answers to those hard-to-crack questions.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Svan PromoThanksgiving is right around the corner and to prepare for holiday travel with your little ones be sure to enter the “essential Thanksgiving travel kit sweepstakes!” Travel this holiday season with baby essentials from Svan and B.box Baby Essentials!!

One grand prize winner receives the Totseat and the essential baby bottle, diaper wallet, snack pack and travel bib from b.box!

Tell us your holiday travel essential and enter to win: https://api-apps.com/s/s7rsoi.

Avocado Egg SaladThere’s good news for those who are looking for ways to include avocados in their meal plans, as part of a healthy diet.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, replacing some saturated fats with good fats like those found in avocados may improve the quality of one’s diet. Fresh avocados are delicious, cholesterol-free and a whole-food source of naturally good fats. Their mild flavor and creamy texture also make them versatile enough to include in a variety of dishes to be enjoyed every day. The fruit also contributes nearly 20 nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

The Hass Avocado Board has announced its new Love One Today campaign, sharing ways to love fresh avocados with all the benefits they can provide. At LoveOneToday.com, you can find recipes, how to buy and store avocados, expert tips and more.

For inspiration on how to include avocados in your diet, try this twist on an old favorite in which creamy avocado and spicy Dijon mustard replace mayonnaise.

Avocado Egg Salad

Ingredients

1 ripe Hass Avocado, halved, seeded and peeled

6 hard-boiled cage-free eggs, peeled and halved

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup minced onion

2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

Preparation

1. Remove and discard yolks of two of the eggs; chop remaining whites and yolks; set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine half of the avocado, vinegar, mustard and salt; mash until smooth. Dice remaining avocado and add to mixture along with eggs and onion; mix gently.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve on toast or gluten-free crackers. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller- or larger-size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of www.LoveOneToday.com and NAPS.*

Grilled_Balsamic_Honey_Peaches_FetaFrom the 10 Fitch Luxurious Romantic Inn located in Auburn, NY, comes this delightfully simple yet elegant recipe!

Grilled Balsamic Honey & Feta Peaches

Ingredients

6-8 peaches
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preparation

1. Wash and halve peaches – remove pit.

2. Combine honey, balsamic & nutmeg, set aside.

3. Oil your grill or spray with non-stick spray. Place peaches cut side down on heated grill.

4. Brush bottoms of peaches liberally with honey-balsamic glaze and grill until starting to turn tender and nice grill marks appear.

5. Turn peaches over onto bottoms and brush tops liberally with honey-balsamic glaze, then sprinkle with a little brown sugar.

6. Continue grilling until peaches are tender drizzling with more glaze if desired.

7. Immediately add crumbled feta to center of peaches.

Serve warm.

Peaches can be kept warm in 250 degree oven or toaster oven for up to 30 minutes.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

Find The Fun In Healthy Eating

Keeping kids healthy can be a tough job. Sometimes, the things that are good for kids aren’t always what they want.

But moms know that eating healthy and being active can help kids grow strong bodies and lower their future risk of obesity and health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. It can also help them do better in school.

Start by being a good role model. Kids are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they see you eating them, too. Be a good role model by staying active and doing activities the whole family can enjoy.

There are also many ways to make healthy eating fun. One way is by encouraging kids to help in the kitchen. When kids help pick and cook food, they are more likely to eat it. Younger kids can tear lettuce for salads or rinse fruits and vegetables while older kids can chop and slice.

The Network for a Healthy California provides these and other mom-tested tips to empower families to live better by eating more fruits and vegetables and being active every day. The tips come from Champions for Change, real moms who are role models for healthy change.

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to make healthy changes. Even small changes add up quickly to make a big difference, like adding fruit to cereal or offering crunchy carrots instead of chips as a snack.

Fresh-Fruit-Bonanza

Here are more mom-tested tips on how to make healthy change fun:

• Kids get excited when they can pick what they are going to eat. Have them pick the fruits and vegetables they want to pack in their lunch each day.

• Keep fruits and vegetables in easy-to-reach places at home to encourage healthy snacking. Leave a bowl of fresh fruit on the table and cut vegetables in the fridge. Get a mix of dried fruits and let kids make their own trail mix.

• Make shopping fun. Let kids pick three colors of fruits and vegetables to try, or choose three fruits to snack on during the week.

• Be creative when cooking. Try fun ideas like arranging different vegetables on pizza to make a face. Use slices of bell pepper for the mouth and eyebrows, olives for the eyes, and a cherry tomato or carrot for the nose.

• Play together. Turn off the TV and turn up the music. Have a dance contest to everyone’s favorite songs. Enjoy the outdoors and go for family walks, ride bikes together or play at a local park.

You can find more great tips, resources and healthy recipes that kids will love at www.CaChampionsForChange.net and www.Facebook.com/NetworkForAHealthyCalifornia.

*Article and image courtesy of NAPS.*

Britain BootsMom” has been rockin’ these new Naturalizer Britain Boots for the past two weeks, and has barely taken them off until bedtime. Talk about giving you an instant edge, no matter what outfit you wear with them! An instant classic that are comfortable from the moment they are placed on your feet, the boots continue to conform to your feet the more you wear them. With anything that shouts “royal” or “Britain” being a trendsetting piece these days, the new Britain Boots pair well with just about anything – from a great tee, to a motorcycle jacket, or even a fitted sweater or blazer.

Britain Boots Black

The Britain boots from Naturalizer are made of a faux leather upper in a casual mid-calf boot style with a round toe, and include decorative buckle straps and an outside zipper at the shaft. With a functional inside zipper for easy slip-on construction and a lovely smooth lining, the cushionined insole wraps your feet in comfort. They are available in Dark Taupe and Black.

Naturalizer’s new Britain Boots retail for $119.00. They can be found online at Naturalizer.com, and you can also visit the website for a store locator or additional new styles.

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

Mommy-Stroller5 Great Baby Registry Items for Eco-Conscious Parents-to-Be

Compiling a baby registry can be a difficult undertaking. There are so many things you’ll need to provide a comfortable and supportive environment for your newborn that it can get a little overwhelming trying to figure out how many onesies, bottles, blankets, and other items to add to your registry. And you don’t want to be greedy, but there’s so much stuff to buy that it could stretch your budget pretty thin. Plus, you need to consider that you’re probably not going to get everything on your wish list. So should you only put the items you really need help with? It can be a major conundrum for expectant parents that are already overwhelmed. And when you add eco-sensibilities to the mix it can get even more difficult. But here are just a few ideas of items you might want to include when you put together a baby registry of items that have less impact on the environment.

Organic clothing. Your baby will go through clothing fast, so you’ll want to put sizes on your registry that will cover him for the first year. This could include four different sizes, in case you didn’t know. But if you also want to cut your carbon footprint and protect your baby’s sensitive skin from possible allergies, rashes, and so on that could be caused by all of the chemical processing most garments undergo, then opt for organic outfits. As a bonus, they’ll survive a lot more washing than standard garments – considering how quickly they get messy, this is great news for new parents.

Organic linens. If you’re not going to clothe your newborn in chemically processed textiles, why would you make him sleep on them? Instead, cover baby’s bed with linen sheets and blankets that are sure to cause less harm.

Cloth diapers (and cleaning service). Disposable diapers, while convenient, are terrible for the environment, cluttering up landfills to the tune of about 18 billion diapers per year, including 82,000 tons of plastic and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp. As a concerned parent, you may be keen to cut back on this, uh, dumping. Cloth diapers are a viable solution that you’ll only have to buy once. Although a cleaning service will cost you, perhaps you can add a month or a year of service as an option on your registry. Another good solution is biodegradable diapers.

3-in-1 stroller. Although you might not find a lot of environmentally-conscious, 3-in-1 stroller options on the market, the product, in and of itself, requires less manufacturing than purchasing a separate stroller, carrier, and car seat, making it a little greener (and more convenient) from the get-go.

Minimal-impact furniture. Although furniture for your baby’s nursery can certainly be expensive, you should put a variety of items at a wide range of price-points on your registry for a couple of reasons. For one thing, someone might actually splurge on one of your big-ticket items, saving you some serious money. Or they may see that lower-priced items have already been purchased and give you a gift card towards whatever you didn’t get on your wish list. Enough gift cards could add up to furniture. And when it comes to your crib, changing table, and baby play yard, you might need a little help covering cost, especially if you plan to buy pieces that are practical, safe, and come with a guarantee of minimal impact to the environment through manufacturing and materials.

Not to be mistaken for the yellow mustard frequently squirted on hot dogs or hamburgers, Colman’s Mustard is a powerful, versatile ingredient that at-home cooks, as well as restaurant chefs, use to add an extra dimension of irresistible flavor to their meals. Place a dollop on your turkey, add a teaspoon to your favorite salad vinaigrette, or try an exciting twist on classic Thanksgiving mashed potatoes with the following recipe!

Colman’s Sweet Potato & Mustard Mash

Ingredients

4 large sweet potatoes
8 fl oz half and half or full cream (“Mom” prefers organic)
6 level teaspoons of Colman’s Prepared Mustard
Juice of 2 Lemons

Preparation

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large cubes.
Boil them for 15 minutes in salted water until they are just tender but not soft.
Drain, and transfer to a blender and add the cream. Blend for about 30 seconds until you have a smooth mixture.
Return the potatoes to the pan and stir in the Colman’s Mustard, warm through and add the lemon juice.

Serves 8.

(Source: Paul Hartley’s ‘The Colman’s Mustard Cookbook’)

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*