Drink Up! The Top 5 Drinks Of Summer
Most people have a drinking problem.
I hope that got your attention! What I am talking about has nothing to do with martinis. I’m talking about developing a good water drinking habit. Water is first and foremost, the beverage of choice, especially when you’re trying to lose a few (or a lot) of weight. We can also add a few other refreshments that will tote up your liquid quota, without putting on the pounds or rotting your teeth.
But before I give you those lovely libations, let’s talk about water, shall we?
The fact is, your body NEEDS water. If you’re interested in making sure your body uses the nutrients you give it via food, you gotta drink water.
If you’re battling blemishes and want nicer skin, you gotta drink water.
If you’re wanting to avoid constipation -- or what I like to call the ultimate form of procrastination -- you’re gonna want to get friendly with water.
And the best part of being a water drinker is that water totally helps you to pare down the pounds. Never underestimate the very powerful tool of a handy water bottle.
But even a devoted water drinker is going to want a little something else in her glass -- yes, even me!
Top 5 Go-To Drinks For Summer And Anytime!
1) Smoothie Patrol! I love slurping a smoothie, especially first thing in the morning. Just a little plain kefir (good for your digestion) a big handful of frozen blueberries, a scoop of protein powder and some OJ and you’re good to go.
Sometimes I like it thicker and sweeter, so I’ll add a little overly ripe frozen banana. And sometimes, I add a secret ingredient that will make you gag (but you can’t taste it) but ratchet up the nutrients. Wanna know what it is?
Here’s the link to watch me make it!
2) Cranberry Cosmo. We all know the girls from Sex And The City liked theirs straight up, cold and with plenty of vodka! My version is sans vodka and mixed with a little orange juice. Take a glass, add crushed ice, fill half way with orange juice (orange juice is a super food, by the way!) and top with cranberry juice. For optimal nutritional punch, buy the kind in the health food store with no sugar.
3) Lemon Up Iced Tea. This one is simple, easy and extra lemon really helps with the vitamin C quota. Simply brew regular tea, let it cool, squeeze two lemons in a glass, add crushed ice and pour your tea over the top. If you prefer it a little sweeter, try using xylitol to sweeten it up. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and is available in health food stores. This is a safe alternative to artificial sweeteners for both diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
4) Green Gingered Tea. Brew some green, tea and set aside to cool. In a glass, add some crushed ice, grate a little ginger or sprinkle some dried ginger (you don’t need much!) and then add the cooled tea. You’ll be getting the health benefits of both green tea and ginger in one glass, as well as refreshing beverage.
5) Pomegranate Punch. The new darling of the nutrition world, pomegranate offers much more than a bunch of seeds that are hard to eat. The delicious juice actually has more antioxidants than green tea. Mix the juice half and half with either green or black brewed tea and you’ve got a wonderful (and powerful) antioxidant drink that is both refreshing and very healthy.
That’s it from me on the beverage front. I do need to mention however, that while I love everything listed above, water is my go-to beverage and it should be yours, too.
True Lemon also makes True Lime and True Orange. I have all of them. I can tell you they really do add that extra something to my water.
Stay cool this summer and remember, drink up!
Leanne Ely is New York Times Bestselling author and the Dinner Diva at SavingDinner.com. For more information, check out the website, www.savingdinner.com
June 28, 2010
Happy Halloween: Best, Worst Candy
We’ve officially kicked off the candy-themed holidays with a big bang – Halloween! If you’re scared by the candy invading your home, office, school and every business you walk into, I understand!
It can be hard to stick with a healthy eating plan when candy is staring you down everywhere you turn.
While it may seem impossible to keep your hand out of the candy jar, it’s not impossible. Read on for some tips on sticking with your plan and which candies are not so spooky.
13 Spook-tacular Tips
• Buy candy the day before Halloween and buy only what you need.
• If you buy candy - buy something you do not like or try lollipops (they are harder to overindulge in!).
• Discard leftovers or donate leftovers to your local church, charity or neighbors and set a specific date to rid of candy.
• Don’t shop for candy when you are hungry.
• Try to give away all of the candy you bought – a good deal for late trick or treaters!
• Try non-food treats such as stickers, pencils, erasers, bracelets or plastic spiders.
• Try healthier treats such as 100-calories packs (crackers, cookies or fruit snacks), juice boxes, microwave popcorn, mini boxes of raisins, sugarless gum, mini packs of baby carrots or peanuts.
• Vow to keep a munch log and record every innocent treat you eat!
• Read the nutrition facts before you empty the bag and throw it away.
• Plan a treat into your day but try to keep it under 150 calories. You can use this as a substitution for your normal treat.
• Vow to walk 10-minutes for every extra treat that you eat.
• Follow the same rules your kids follow – you probably don’t let them indulge in Halloween candy whenever they want!
• Make your dentist proud and brush your teeth after each treat – this will also help signal that you are done with the treats.
Some candy facts are downright scary and others not so much – take a look at my top 5 best and worst picks.
Say no to these candies in the jack-o-lantern (these “snack” sized treats can easily add up to more than a regular candy bar!):
1. Snack Size Twizzlers: 130 calories
2. Snack Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: 110 calories
3. Snack Size Butterfinger: 100 calories
4. Fun Size M&M’s: 100 calories
5. Snack Size Milky Way: 90 calories
Say yes to these candies in the jack-o-lantern in moderation (remember, just because they’re little doesn’t mean they don’t add up!)
1. Mini Tootsie Roll: 13 calories
2. Reese’s Mini Cup: 35 calories
3. Treat Size Box Milk Duds: 40 calories
4. Miniature Box Raisins: 45 calories
5. Treat Size SweetTarts: 50 calories
Have a lot of trick and a little treat this Halloween!
Shauna Schultz, RD
October 31, 2008
Happy Gluten-Free Halloween!
Halloween is just a few days away and the excitement certainly is growing in my house. But if you have a child who can’t eat gluten you probably are less than thrilled with this holiday.
How do you let them eat candy and make sure it is gluten free, especially when the little mini versions available at Halloween generally do not contain ingredient lists?
You could always forgo trick-or-treating altogether and have a Halloween party instead. If this is considered a “no fun” option in your house than hopefully the following tips will help.
If you haven’t done so already, plan to spend some time at the store parked in front of the Halloween candy display reading ingredient lists. Write down the names of those candies that do not contain any gluten ingredients.
Many candy manufacturers include allergen information on their packaging. However, some allergen information is more helpful than others.
Smarties candy, manufactured by the Ce De Candy Company, states the following on their label, “Smarties contain none of the following common allergens: gluten (from wheat, barley, oats, and rye), milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, or soybeans.” Now that is what I call helpful allergen labeling!! I will buy this candy just for this statement alone.
If the bags of candy you pick up do not contain all of this helpful information and you are concerned about allergens and cross contact, go online to manufacturer websites to see if they have any information available on allergens and gluten. You can also call manufacturers to discuss their quality control procedures.
There are lists of candy made without gluten-containing ingredients available on line. Google gluten-free Halloween candy and several sites will come up. You will have to judge for yourself how reliable you think the information is.
Make sure your child is aware of what candy you decide is gluten free and safe for them to eat. That way when presented with a choice and allowed to choose their own piece of candy, they will choose a gluten-free variety.
If you are friends with some of the families in the areas where you will be trick-or-treating, give them a list of gluten-free candy or provide them with candy yourself. This way your child is guaranteed a gluten-free option from at least some of the houses they visit.
In fact, this is a strategy followed by the Roberts family, a family of five with celiac disease and multiple food allergies.
Mom Jane says, “In the past I have prepared for trick-or-treating by planning ahead. I made 10 Ziploc bags of candies for each of my kids and delivered them to my neighbors with a note asking them to give these to our children on Halloween night. That way, I knew for sure the kids would get at least some candy they could eat.
"Afterward, the children of some of those parents were willing to do a "candy trade" for the candies that weren't safe that my kids received at other houses. It worked out great! I was amazed how willing people were to help out the next year and actually asked what kind of candy was safe for my children. What a treat!”
This may seem like a no-brainer but, just in case, make sure the candy you buy to give out Halloween night is gluten free. Buy extra so that your child can “trade” the gluten-containing candy they receive for the gluten-free candy you are handing out. Kids (at least mine and it looks like Jane’s too) love to trade candy.
Let your child exchange their gluten-containing candy for a toy. We have been exchanging candy for a toy in my house for years simply because I didn’t want my son eating too much candy!
Hopefully some of these tips are useful and will help make Halloween a little less stressful for you!
Tricia Thompson, M.S., RD is a nutrition consultant, author and speaker specializing in celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She is the author of The Gluten-Free Nutrition Guide (McGraw-Hill) and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Gluten-Free Eating (Penguin Group). For more information, visit www.glutenfreedietitian.com.
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October 28, 2008