The best part of waking up is oatmeal in my daughter’s bowl. The morning is the most routine part of her day and she sticks by it with military precision. This is her own doing. She rises at 8, requests a bowl of oatmeal, and then gets dressed. Every single day. Her penchant for oatmeal used to be a sticking point for us; I had to boil the water and prep the oatmeal from scratch. This wasn’t feasible every morning.
Have you looked at microwave oatmeals? Honestly, they’re gross — at least to me! For something so pure and natural, most of those boxes read like a chemistry experiment. So we reserved oatmeal for the mornings I had time to make the real thing. Until I discovered Better Oats Raw Pure & Simple Oatmeal. I swear this isn’t sponsored; my endorsement is as organic as the oats themselves! I found it on the shelf at my Kroger one day, and at $1.99 per eight-count box, I couldn’t afford not to stock up. Now it’s a staple on the grocery list and for six months my daughter has had a bowl of this oatmeal every single morning.
Each pouch is filled with raw, pure oats and a blend of quinoa, flax, and barley. We buy the “Bare” — just plain Jane oatmeal. It takes two minutes to prepare: Oats in the bowl, water, microwave for 1:45, and serve. We’ve found that using a little less water than recommended and cooking for less time gives a thicker oatmeal, which my kiddo prefers.
What she actually ends up eating is anything but plain Jane. She has a standard recipe that we abide by: butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, fresh fruit. (more…)
Sure, they’re super cheesy and a little overplayed at times, but you know you can’t help but crack a smile and a you-got-me laugh when the perfect pun comes along. With as heavy a scene as we all try to paint when it comes to our food and fitness, it feels good to look at all of it from the lighter side. And this week, we have first lady Michelle Obama to thank for the cunning reminder that puns, are in fact, fun!
Enjoy our favorite actual laugh out loud puns!
1. FLOTUS throws it down.
She’s nacho average first lady! #turnipforwhat
2. Oh my Quad, Becky!
…It’s like one of those rap guys girlfriends.
3. What the Kale?!
So many kale puns, so little time.
I’ve definitely got a bone to pick with whoever decided to trade off more daylight hours for one less hour of sleep. Though spring and summer are my favorite seasons, and that lost hour means they’re on the way, I still find myself dragging when Daylight Saving Time rolls around.
The annual spring forward officially happens at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, which means most of us will be changing our clocks Saturday night before we go to bed, knowing we’ll be getting one less hour of sleep.
You’ve heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s an old English adage, but there’s actually a lot of truth to the saying: Study after study shows the merits of eating antioxidant-rich apples include everything from cancer prevention to reduced risk of heart attack to improving the health of your brain. Best of all, the fruit weighs in at under 100 calories a pop, which means they’re part of a healthy diet and may even help you lose weight!
Take a look at our list of the health benefits that come from eating apples then stock up on the red and green fruits at the grocery store. (Use our handy apple guide to select the right type for you.) Remember, much of the health benefits of apples can be found in the peel, so aim to eat whole apples, not apple sauce or apple juice.
The latest research shows:
Apples may work as well as statins: A majority of adults over 50 are prescribed statins to lower cholesterol, but a new study from the UK found that eating an apple each day is just as effective at reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes. As in, you get the same health benefits as with statins but without any side-effects.
My personal food philosophy is that it has to be healthful, flavorful, and no more complicated than is necessary. I genuinely enjoy cooking for my family; it’s not a task to me. That doesn’t mean I’m not busy and I don’t have to find ways to save myself time, but I’ve made the type and quality of food we eat a priority, so that means I cut corners in other ways.
The Dutch Oven roasted chicken is my “microwave dinner,” if you will. I can give up less than two hours (often on a weekend) to roasting this bird and have more than just one meal. So when I pay a hefty price for the free-range, feel-good chicken I’m getting my money’s worth for sure.
It’s not just any dried out, salt and pepper roasted chicken though. This thing is singing with flavor with plenty of juices to make you forget that whole white meat vs. dark meat debate.
And forget asking for seconds. No one can have them because I’m making a second dinner with this chicken.
The trick is to all that flavor and juice is to stuff this chicken full of flavor agents, things that offer plenty of good flavor without jamming it up with salts and fats. Fresh herbs, oranges, apples, garlic, onions, and whole peppercorns are my go-to flavor agents. These give the chicken a subtle flavor that makes it delicious enough to eat on its own, or save to use in other meals throughout the week. (more…)
By Team Best Life
You already know that fruit is loaded with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals, all of which can keep you healthy, so we’ll save that lecture again. Choices certainly become a bit more limited in the fall and winter (unless you want to shell out for expensive imports), but there are plenty of in-season fruits that totally satisfy your sweet tooth. Our favorite way to get our fruit fix: Have it for dessert. Fruit is the perfect base for desserts because it’s naturally sweet. So this season, grab your favorite fall or winter fruit and bake, poach, or even grill your way to five a day.
Pop some fruit in the oven for a warm, melt-in-your-mouth treat. You can make a fruit crisp or crumble, which features a crunchy, sweet topping, or a fruit slump, which boasts a moister topping that literally slumps into the fruit while it’s baking. Or top your baked fruit with a little chocolate, as in this Baked Pear with Chocolate Sauce recipe.
Simmer your fruit in liquid with a bit of sugar to create a juicy and mouthwatering dish. Want a little more flavor? Try adding some of your favorite spices, as shown in this recipe for Poached Fall Fruit: Grapes, Apples and Pears with Cinnamon, Cardamom and Anise. (more…)
Waking up to pancakes, French toast, or waffles in my house is a staple of the weekend. My soon-to-be three-year-old daughter asks to make pancakes most mornings of the week and every day I have to sadly decline. I make up for it by giving her a frozen waffle so we can all eat and get out the door. But she knows when it’s Saturday and she expects bowls full of batter and big drizzly pours of honey.
I would alternate between the Van’s or Earth’s Best frozen waffles. They’re both organic, whole grain, have a few bites of blueberries, and taste really good. They both also run almost four dollars for six waffles. Lately I’ve been trying to make more of our own bread and homemade salad dressing to save money and ensure we’re eating the best quality food. I figured the waffles would fit right in there andI was right. (more…)
It’s Friday and that means it time for a dose of healthy news before you head out to enjoy the weekend. This week’s headline includes a story about celebrities who are living healthier due to their vegan lifestyle. Another headline is an article about indoor fitness for kids that we shared at Nutritious America. And, don’t forget to look at the recipes we love which include a whole wheat chicken pot pie and a sparkling apple sangria recipe.
3 Free Weekly Meal Planner Worksheets Organize Healthy Homemade Food
After a long day of work the last thing you want to worry about is dinner. For those who want to get healthy and manage their grocery budget meal planning can be a big help. DIR is sharing three meal plan worksheets that you can print off for free! The worksheets can help you stick to meal plans at the store and you’ll be less likely to put a bunch of junk into your grocery cart!
Meet Mr. Honeycrisp, the Man Behind Fall’s Most Popular (and Most Expensive) Apple
About every type of apples tastes the same, right? Wrong. Honeycrisp Apples’ taste is unmatchable compared to Granny Smith apples or Red Delicious apples. DIR’s managing editor recently interviewed David Bedford, the father of the Honeycrisp Apple. Read more about the most prestigious apple out right now!
More Vegan Celebrities Tout the Animal-Free Diet’s Benefits
Being a vegan means that you cut off any animal product from your diet, but it also changes your lifestyle. Vegans swear to not use any animals products or eat animals because it is morally wrong. Celebrities like Pink, Kristen Bell, and Travis Barker have made a healthy lifestyle change since becoming vegans. (more…)
I walked in to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago to grab a few things and ended up grabbing a few things not on my list. Who doesn’t? I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the front fruit display had traded peaches for Honeycrisp apples. After months and months without eating any apples, I was beside myself with excitement as I loaded up four softball-sized apples at $2.99 per pound.
Yep. I paid a three dollar per-pound price for a piece of fruit. And so have millions of other people. I am part of the reason the Honeycrisp craze has grown in to a full blown obsession rivaling only those who camp out for the first pumpkin spiced coffee of the season. I don’t eat any other kind of apple, and until a few years ago it had been several years since I’d even touched one. Honeycrisps are unlike any apple you’ve ever tried.
The Honeycrisp was developed at the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program in 1960. It was a cross of the Macoun and Honeygold, a hybrid of the two apples that took more than 30 years to move to market. Between 1960 and 1991, the apple that is now known as the Honeycrisp was identified, tested, and introduced to market in 1991. That was 20 years ago. So where has this divine piece of fruit been hiding? I asked David Bedford, a research scientist and lead apple breeder at the University of Minnesota. This is Mr. Honeycrisp.
Once the Honeycrisp was released in 1991, Bedford explained it was a very grassroots effort to get the apple out there. They had to sell the seeds to the nurseries, who then sold saplings to the orchardists, who then had to plant and grow the trees. These aren’t like tomato vines, they take time, years in fact. Once the Honeycrisp trees were planted they had three to five years before they were fruit bearing.
An apple with no marketing budget and just some excitable word of mouth has grown to be the fifth most grown apple in the U.S, according to Bedford. “It’s a hometown kid without much promotion.” The apple really took off and joined the mainstream, Bedford explained, after Washington state growers got a hold of it. “Sixty percent of apples in the country are grown in Washington,” he said. “When they get behind something, you see it go mainstream.” (more…)
Whoever said you couldn’t play with your food likely never really knew the joy of eating. We certainly aren’t suggesting tossing handfuls of spaghetti across the table at your annoying little brother, but we do think that the fall season is perfect for a little crafting-meets-snacking.
Some of our favorite seasonal treats are perfect for gathering ’round the family, getting plenty messy, sharing lots of giggles, all while making something yummy to enjoy as we gear up for Halloween. Fun and delicious treats don’t have to be sugar bombs. These homemade treats are healthful and fun to eat, too!
Ready to dig in?
BROWN PAPER BAG POPCORN
Forget the microwave popcorn you think you know. With nothing more than a brown paper sack, whole popcorn kernels, and a microwave, you’ll have light and airy popcorn in minutes without the chemicals, calories, and sodium.
The kids will love helping you make this, whether it’s movie night or a Halloween party. Make the popcorn something special with our Cinnamon Raisin Popcorn treat, which is simply brown bag popcorn, cinnamon, and raisins.
To share with friends or handout at a school party, let the kids make Hand-O-Lanterns to decorate each brown paper sack. Just paint their palms orange, their fingers green, and press on to the bags. When the paint dries they can use black markers to draw pumpkin faces!