What is Fair Trade?

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Fair Trade coffee beans with farmerAs a consumer, every purchase you make is a vote within the market place. You have the ability to influence not only which products you see on shelves, but also where those products come from and how they’re made. When you choose fair trade products and ingredients, you help improve the lives of farmers, farm-workers, producers and their families. You’ll also be making an eco-friendly choice.

10 Principles of Fair Trade*

The ten principles of fair trade help to create a model of sustainable, ethical trade that puts people and planet first. Purchasing dedicated fair trade brands is the easiest way to do the most good, every day.

  1. Opportunities for disadvantaged producers
  2. Transparency & accountability
  3. Fair trade practices
  4. Fair payment
  5. No child labor, no forced labor
  6. No discrimination, gender equity, freedom of association
  7. Good working conditions
  8. Capacity building
  9. Promote fair trade
  10. Respect for the environment

*Courtesy of the World Fair Trade Organization website.

Keep an eye out for these fair trade logos …

Fair Trade logos to look out for

 


Did you know?

The Fair Trade movement started in the United States in 1946. You can read more about the history of the fair trade movement on the World Fair Trade Organization website.

Eat the Rainbow

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by Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, founder of love & zest

Do you have intentions of adding more fruits and veggies into your diet throughout 2019? Maybe you’re focusing on plant-based eating habits for the new year and need some inspiration! Whether you’re a produce connoisseur or you’re new to the idea of eating a variety of fruits and veggies, eating the rainbow is always a good idea.

Since February is a month of love, we’re going to hone in on red fruits and vegetables! Fortunately, Sprouts has all the red produce you need to incorporate into your day-to-day healthy living routine.

Eat the Rainbow with red fruits and vegetablesLet’s Start with Red Fruits

Apples are a great and versatile option. They’re high in fiber and a high-quality source of vitamin C. There are also a number of choices when it comes to red apples—Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Ambrosia—the list goes on! If you’re obsessed with apples, check out this refreshing recipe for Apple Crunch Slaw with Almond Butter Dressing.

Cranberries contain a substantial amount of fiber, vitamin C and manganese. They make for a convenient and nutritious snack, a tasty addition to any salad and add a hint of sweetness to your oatmeal.

Cherries are bursting with fiber and vitamin C. The options are endless when it comes to different ways to enjoy cherries. Try them in sweet and juicy desserts, as well as savory dishes such as salads and appetizers. Since Valentine’s Day is near, be sure to try this Double Chocolate Cherry Skillet Brownie.

Raspberries are packed with many nutrients including fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, vitamin C and manganese. They’re perfect for a midday snack, a tasty salad dressing, flavorful boost to oatmeal and a refreshing addition to water.

Strawberries are a very good source of fiber, vitamin C and manganese. A versatile fruit, they’re great in salads, pancakes, fruit pizza, yogurt popsicles and by themselves—you simply can’t go wrong with them.

 

Now for the Red Veggies

Beets are an incredible source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium and manganese. A highly nutritious vegetable, they have a sweet and earthy flavor. Try roasting them, topping a salad with them or pairing them with apples and goat cheese—you won’t regret it!

Red bell peppers are a popular and versatile pepper that can be incorporated into any dish. They’re great diced up in an omelette for breakfast, sliced on top of a salad for lunch, and grilled or roasted as a side for dinner. You’ll get a boost of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E and B6, as well as folate from this nutritious veggie!

Red onions are a staple veggie for many. If you’re new to red onions, you may never go back to yellow or white! Packed with flavor and vitamin C, red onions can enhance any dish with flavor and nutrients. They pair perfectly with salads, on top of burgers, and roasted with balsamic vinegar for a side dish bursting with flavor.

Red potatoes are always a good idea. Create a simple side dish by roasting some red potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic for the perfect combination. They can also be used in a potato salad using plain Greek yogurt and your favorite seasonings.

Rhubarb can be enjoyed in more ways than just pie! Loaded with many nutrients including fiber, vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, and manganese, rhubarb is an intensely tart spring vegetable that tastes amazing in a fruit smoothie too!

Tomatoes can be enjoyed simply by slicing and adding salt and pepper on top. They also make a perfect soup for chilly weather or a refreshing addition to a cucumber and feta salad in the summer months. They’re a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and K, potassium and manganese.

Remember to eat the rainbow every day, and this year make Valentine’s day festive with red produce!

 


 

Kristina portrait from Love and Zest

About Kristina

Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, is the owner of popular food and nutrition website, Love & Zest, where she shares (mostly) healthy recipes to fuel the whole family and real-life stories of modern motherhood. Kristina is a former NBA team dietitian, collegiate sports RD and cookbook author. She’s the mama to two active and hungry boys and lives in Orlando with her middle-school sweetheart. Follow Love & Zest on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, and get her new family-friendly weeknight dinner guide for stress-free meal planning.

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Love Crunch

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Love Crunch Meet the Brand in the kitchenSweet beginnings …

Not everyone can say their wedding favors were such a hit they went on to become part of the family legacy, but that’s exactly what happened when Arjan and Rimjhim shared their granola, Love Crunch, with their guests. Arjan is the son of Nature’s Path Organic founders Arran and Ratana Stephens. Their Love Crunch granola was such a success, Nature’s Path made it an official product.

Love Crunch’s sweet beginnings aren’t just a story—exquisite organic ingredients like fair trade dark chocolate, red berries and crunchy peanuts make for a delicious breakfast or snack. Even better, you can give back with every bite through their Bite4Bite program. For every Love Crunch product sold, the equivalent is donated to food banks in need—making this granola worth falling for.


Love Crunch Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a Breville Barista TouchTM

  1. Download the Sprouts app and create an account
  2. Log into you account
  3. Go to the digital coupon section
  4. Clip the Love Crunch sweepstakes entry

No purchase necessary to enter or win. The giveaway is open to legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. Official rules

Cal-Organic Farms

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Cal-Organic Farm Farmer with lettuceSince 1984, when the Duncan family started farming a quarter acre of lettuce in Lamont, California, they have expanded their organic farm to include more than 65 seasonal and year-round vegetables. Today, Cal-Organic Farms is the largest organic vegetable producer in the U.S.—100% of which is grown on family-owned acreage. They believe in doing everything it takes to provide vibrant and nutritious organic produce that you and your family will love.

Farmed with Pride & Integrity

Striving to be good stewards of the land by advancing innovation in farming, Cal Organic surpasses the standard for organic practices. Their farmers use composted manures, cover crops and crop rotation to enrich the soil naturally and prevent erosion. When it comes to pests and weeds, they turn to natural sources like populations of beneficial insects and use cover crops to divert attention away from their precious organic plants.

Top 9: Powerful Probiotic Foods

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Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem—literally and figuratively—hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. More people are starting to consume these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”).

Yogurt:

One of the most popular probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, but be sure to read the ingredients list, as not all yogurts are made equally. Look for brands such as Brown Cow and Cascade Fresh, which include lactobacillus, acidophilus and other probiotic cultures.

Kefir:

Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of milk and fermented kefir grains. It has a slightly acidic and tart flavor with a hint of bready-yeastiness (but that is usually more noticed in the smell than the taste). Kefir is similar to yogurt, but because it is fermented with yeast and more bacteria, the final product has more probiotics.

Glass bottle of milk, yogurt and vitamins

Sauerkraut:

Made from fermented cabbage and other veggies, sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but also aids in reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut—and the similar but spicy Korean dish, kimchi—is also loaded with immune-boosting vitamins that may help ward off infection.

Soft Cheese:

Goat’s milk and soft cheese are particularly high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus.

Dark Chocolate:

Probiotics can be added to high-quality dark chocolate, up to four times the amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy. This is only one of the health benefits of chocolate.

Miso Soup:

Miso is one the main-stays of Japanese traditional medicine that can really get your digestive system moving. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria. Beyond its important live cultures, miso is extremely nutrient-dense.

Pickles:

Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. When looking to pickles for probiotics, opt for naturally fermented varieties where vinegar wasn’t used in the pickling process. A sea salt and water solution encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria and may give sour pickles some digestive benefits.

Tempeh:

A great substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is a probiotic-rich grain made from fermented soy beans. A great source of vitamin B-12, this vegetarian food can be sautéed, baked or eaten crumbled on salads. If prepared correctly, tempeh is also very low in salt, which makes it an ideal choice for those on a low-sodium diet.

Kombucha:

An acquired taste due to its sour flavor and fermented odor, kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis and other degenerative diseases. In fact, according to a Los Angeles Times article, people with HIV made kombucha popular in the 1980s. People drank it to boost their immune systems, increase energy, improve their skin and nails and strengthen thinning hair. These health benefits have not been scientifically proven. However, research shows antioxidant properties in kombucha help boost immunity and energy levels. As a probiotic beverage, it may improve digestion.

Touchdown Wings for the Big Game

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You can’t spell wing without “win”! Our blogger friends put together five delicious wing recipes that are sure to score big points on game day.

Asian BBQ Wings by Nourish Nutrition Blog

These Asian BBQ wings have a spicy, crisp outside and flavor, tender inside—that you and your guests will love.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs. Sprouts Butcher Shop Chicken Wings
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Sprouts Organic Asian BBQ Sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1+ Tbsp. Sriracha, or more depending on desired spice level
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame seeds

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pour water into the bowl of an instant pot, then place chicken wings in steamer basket of instant pot. Close lid, and set vent to sealing. Set to manual, and cook for 10 minutes, at high pressure. It should take about 20 minutes from start to finish.
  2. Once wings are done, turn vent to venting setting and let pressure release, once steam stops, remove lid.
  3. Just prior to serving, set oven to broil. Remove chicken wings and place on a lined baking sheet, slather wings with BBQ sauce, and broil for just 2–3 minutes.
  4. While wings are in the oven, mix together mayonnaise and Sriracha in a dipping bowl, and pour more BBQ sauce into another dipping bowl.
  5. Transfer hot chicken wings from baking sheet to serving bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy.

Vegan Thai Spicy Buffalo Wings by The Vegan Caveman

Made from seitan, these spicy Thai-inspired wings boast a special kick from the homemade Buffalo sauce. You won’t want to stop eating ’em! Brush on extra sauce for more flavor. Optional: serve with vegan ranch.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 75 minutes

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

For the seitan wings: 

  • 1 cup Vital wheat gluten 
  • 3 Tbsp. Brown rice flour 
  • 1 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast 
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried basil 
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp. Smoked paprika 
  • 1/4 tsp. Coriander 
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. White pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt 
  • 1/2 cup Warm water 
  • 2 Tbsp. Liquid aminos (sub soy sauce) 
  • 8 cups Low-sodium organic vegetable broth 
  • 3 Garlic cloves 

Vegan-Thai-Spicy-Buffalo-Wings1

Vegan-Thai-Spicy-Buffalo-Wings

For the Thai Buffalo sauce: 

  • 2 Flax eggs (2 tbsp. flax meal + 5 tbsp. warm water, set for 10 minutes) 
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce (vegan) 
  • 2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar 
  • 2 Tbsp. Liquid aminos (or soy sauce) 
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut sugar (or cane sugar) 
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced 
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 dash Pepper and salt

Other: 

  • 1/2 cup Brown rice flour 
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper 
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan butter 
  • Green onions, thinly sliced, optional, to serve 
  • Vegan ranch, optional, to serve 

DIRECTIONS:

Note: The following directions will be given for stand mixer and without on each step. 

  1. Using a stand mixer, mix together the vital wheat gluten, brown rice flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, smoked paprika, coriander, Old Bay, garlic powder, white pepper and salt with a paddle attachment on low speed until well mixed. If no stand mixer, mix with a wooden spoon till well blended. 
  2. While mixer runs on low, add in 1/2 cup warm water and 2 tablespoons liquid aminos. If using bowl, continue stirring with wooden spoon while adding water and aminos. 
  3. Change the paddle for the dough hook on stand mixer if using. 
  4. Run the dough hook on low for 10 minutes to knead the dough, add in another 2 tablespoons of warm water, and run on low for another 10 minutes. If not using a stand mixer, once well mixed with a wooden spoon, pour the mixture onto a flour-lined surface. Knead the dough with hands for about 8–10 minutes until it becomes elastic-like and can be pulled apart without breaking. 
  5. Once done with mixer or kneading, form into 10–12 small wings.
  6. In a large soup pot, bring the 8 cups of broth and 3 garlic cloves to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  7. Add the wings to the boiling broth and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 60 minutes until wings double in size. 
  8. While the wings cook, mix together all ingredients for the Thai Buffalo sauce in a small bowl. Additionally, in a shallow bowl or plate, mix 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. 
  9. Once wings are done cooking, drained and cooled for a few minutes, dredge in the flour/pepper mixture until well coated. Set on a plate.
  10.   Add 2 tablespoons vegan butter to a large frying pan. When the butter starts to pop, dip the dredged wing in the Thai Buffalo sauce and lay on the pan. Repeat until all wings are complete. Flip after 1–2 minutes when the wings start to brown. I like a little burn on my wings as it adds a nice smoky char. Once browned on both sides, set on paper-towel-lined plate.
  11.  Using a pastry brush or spoon, brush the rest of the Buffalo sauce on the wings. Serve and enjoy!

Air Fryer Sweet Chili & Onion Wings by Beautiful Eats and Things

Get your air fryer ready! The sweetness from the honey and the spiciness from the cayenne pepper are two bold flavors that are perfect for kick-off-ready wings. 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 4

Air Fryer Sweet Chili & Onion Wings

INGREDIENTS:

    • lb. Sprouts Butcher Shop raw chicken wings 
    • 2 tsp. Sprouts Cayenne Pepper 
    • 2 tsp. Sprouts Paprika 
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sprouts Raw Unfiltered Honey 
    • 1 Tbsp. Oil 
    • 1 pkt. Mild chili seasoning 
    • 1 pkt. French onion dip seasoning 
    • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Place wings in a large bowl and add oil, honey and all seasonings.
  2. Combine until all ingredients are distributed evenly. Cover and let sit for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Spray air fryer basket with cooking spray and place chicken wings in basket. Cook at 380°F for 25 minutes, shaking the basket every 5–10 minutes. 
  4. After 25 minutes, increase the temperature to 400°F and cook for 10–15 minutes longer. Shake every 5 minutes and begin checking for doneness at 5 minutes.  
  5. Remove when the wings are crisped to your liking and enjoy!

Brown Sugar BBQ Wings by Spices in my DNA

Brown sugar adds a classic sweetness to traditional BBQ wings. Because this recipe calls for ketchup as the base, the seasonings can be easily altered to your liking. The wings are made extra hot and crunchy from the oven, so no extra oil here!

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

Brown Sugar BBQ Wings

INGREDIENTS:

For the wings: 

  • 2 lbs. Sprouts Butcher Shop chicken wings 
  • 1 tsp. Salt 
  • 2 tsp. Baking powder 
  • Nonstick cooking spray 

Brown Sugar BBQ Wings1For the sauce: 

  • 1 1/2 cups Sprouts Ketchup 
  • 1/2 cup Sprouts Light Brown Sugar, loosely packed 
  • 1/4 cup Water 
  • 1 Tbsp. Molasses 
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey 
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. Sprouts Dry Mustard 
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pat wings dry with paper towels. Place wings in a large, non-reactive glass or plastic bowl. Add the salt and toss to coat. Sprinkle the baking powder over the wings and toss again to coat. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. (This step helps the wings get super crispy when they’re baked!) 
  2. Preheat oven to 450℉. Spray a large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Set aside. Evenly layer the wings on the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, then flip them, and bake for another 15–20 minutes or until golden and crispy. 
  3. While wings are baking, in a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients for the BBQ sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired. 
  4. When wings are finished baking, add to a large bowl along with ½–¾ cup (or desired amount) of BBQ sauce and toss to coat! The amount is totally up to you and how saucy you want them! (You will have extra sauce leftover for another use.) Serve immediately with extra BBQ sauce and enjoy.

Grilled Cajun Wings by Cake ‘N’ Knife

These wings are grilled and great! With a cayenne-spiked hot sauce, it won’t just be the heat from the grill you’re feeling.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 6

Grilled Cajun Wings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 lbs. Sprouts Butcher Shop chicken wings, broken down into drumettes and flats

For the rub:

  • Tbsp. Baking powder 
  • tsp. Paprika 
  • tsp. Garlic powder 
  • tsp. Onion powder 
  • tsp. Dried thyme 
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt 
  • 1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper

For the sauce:

  • Tbsp. Butter, melted 
  • Tbsp. Hot sauce (I used Buffalo-style hot sauce, but you can use your favorite kind) 
  • 1/4 cup Honey 
  • 1/2 tsp, Cajun spice mix (reserved from above) 
  • tsp. Apple cider vinegar 
  • Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • Fresh parsley for garnish 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne. Set aside 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture. Mix in baking powder with the majority of the spice mix.
  2. Pat chicken wings dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with majority of the Cajun seasoning. Toss to coat. Place on a wire rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Refrigerate for 8 hours.
  3. Grill wings skin-side up for 30–35 minutes, covered and over indirect heat. 
  4. While the wings are grilling, make the sauce. Whisk together butter, hot sauce, honey, Cajun spice rub, apple cider vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Brush the wings with the sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes, covered. 
  5. Add the remaining sauce to a large bowl and toss the wings in the sauce. Add the wings to a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with parsley before serving. 

The Party Platter that WINGS the Big Game by Honeysuckle

Video Description: The Party Platter that WINGS the Big Game | The Big Game is here so make sure to have an Epic Chicken Wings Platter from Sprouts!

Juicing Made Easy

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Wondering how to squeeze those recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet? Juicing may be the answer you’re seeking. When you juice fruits and vegetables, you typically have to use more of the produce: Instead of eating one stalk of celery, you’re juicing several stalks of celery, which means you get more of the phytochemicals and micronutrients that make juicing so beneficial.

Keep in Mind

A drawback to juicing is that the process removes the fiber that can help make you feel fuller longer and is good for heart and digestive health. And, if you’re consuming a fruit-only blend, the sugar content will be high and lack the fiber to help with the sugar absorption. What to do?

When you start juicing, to keep it low-sugar, strive for a mix of mostly veggies with a bit of fruit for sweet—great nutritional benefits with less sugar! And, you can also practice portion control, a four-ounce serving of fruit juice is equivalent to a whole serving of fruit.

Add-ins

Another great way to boost flavor and nutrition without the sugar are add-ins. Try a little earthy turmeric root for its curcuminoids that lend powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to your drink. Ginger will add a zip to your sip and can help sooth your tummy. A dash of cinnamon adds great flavor as well as antioxidants.

Now you’re ready to try out these great juicing combos!

7 Ways to Avoid a Blood Sugar Crash

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by Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD founder of milkandhoneynutrition.com

Whether you’re sitting at your desk at work, chasing kids around at home, or just enjoying the day … that sinking I-need-a-nap-ASAP-feeling, can hit out of nowhere. What causes this? And how do you avoid it?

For a lot of people, that onset of exhaustion can be related to low blood sugar levels. Most of our energy levels throughout the day are directly tied to our blood glucose (or blood sugar) levels. Rapid changes in your blood sugar—both up and down—can leave you feeling like you need a nap.

Balanced meals and snacks with the right foods, can help prevent this. A blood sugar-friendly meal or snack should have three things:

  1. Protein
  2. Fat
  3. Fiber

All three of these things act as buffers on your body’s blood sugar after you eat. They prevent blood sugar spikes, and the inevitable crashing feeling afterwards. And they also help keep you full and satisfied for a longer period of time.

After we eat, our food goes to our stomachs and takes anywhere from one to four one to four hours to be moved into our small intestines. Low-fiber carbohydrates get processed the quickest and can cause some rapid blood sugar rises. When you add protein, fat, and/or fiber to a meal or snack, the speed at which your body digests your food slows down—which is great for blood sugar control! Slower digestion means we feel full and energized longer, and provides your body with a steady supply of nutrients.

Healthy food bowl to avoid blood sugar crashHere are 7 tips to avoid a blood sugar crash:

Tip 1. Eat breakfast

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can cause hunger- and satiety-related hormones to get out of balance, which also means blood sugars start to be less stable.

Tip 2. Eat consistently

It’s important to feed yourself at consistent times throughout the day. There’s a reason our GI tracts, energy levels, and overall health can get out of whack when we aren’t in our routine.

Tip 3. Eat similarly sized meals

Try to avoid having a small breakfast, medium lunch, and large dinner (like a lot of Americans do), and you also want to avoid the opposite (a large breakfast and so on …) Ideally, to keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent a big rise, and subsequent big fall, all of your meals should be about the same size/same amount of food.

Tip 4. Eat every four to six hours

Don’t go more than four to six hours without eating. This is very much related to number two above, and means you should plan ahead. Maybe you know you’ll be running between meetings at work, or out running errands and won’t be headed back home. Either way, if there’s a chance you’re going to have to go a long time between meals, it’s definitely wise to pack a snack.

Tip 5. Keep snacks handy

Keep quality plant-based fat sources with you for when you’re on the go. As I mentioned above, fat takes longer to digest and helps keep us full longer. It also keeps blood sugars stable by delaying the release of carbohydrate from our stomachs. Great choices include:

  • Nut butter packets
  • String cheese
  • Avocados
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Nut and trail mixes

Tip 6. Try not to eat carbohydrates by themselves

Pairing a carbohydrate source with a protein or fat source will keep you fuller longer, and help keep blood sugar levels stable. Instead of eating an apple or crackers by themselves, try pairing either with peanut butter or cheese for added fat and protein.

Tip 7. Choose higher-fiber carbs

Just like fat and protein, fiber slows down digestion, which as you know helps blood sugars stay steady. Some easy swaps are:

  • Crackers and bread made with whole grains instead of white flour
  • Bean-based pasta instead of white-flour pasta
  • Adding nuts and seeds to salads and sandwiches
  • Load up your next pizza with veggies

Now that you know some of these basic tips for avoiding blood sugar swings, you’re prepared to tackle the day with a steady supply of energy. If you’re curious about learning more, seek out your health care provider for more information.


Please note: The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any medical condition and should not be treated as such. Please seek out your physician or dietitian before making changes to your diet.


 

Influencer - Mary Ellen - Milk & Honey Nutrition

About Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, is the Registered Dietitian, mom, food blogger and recipe developer behind milkandhoneynutrition.com. She’s also a type 1 diabetic and firmly believes food should bring us joy, not stress. Mary Ellen makes healthy eating easy, realistic and most importantly … fun! Visit her website and you’ll find yummy low-sugar, diabetes-friendly recipes the whole family will love … as well as helpful tips and a little mom humor.

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Recommended Daily Servings

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When asking what fruits and vegetables can do for you, the real question should be, what can’t they do? These powerhouses are packed with the fiber, vitamins and minerals essential for maintaining the health and vitality of your body.

Why Eat Fruits and VegetablesHow much and why?

The recommended serving size of fruits and veggies is five per day. But how much is one serving? It’s generally considered one-half cup, though for leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, a serving is one cup. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. The fiber in both fruits and veggies helps you feel fuller longer and contributes to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. And, they’re packed with all kinds of nutrients your body needs.

Carotenoids

Richly colored molecules, carotenoids are what puts the bright red, yellow and orange hues in both fruits and veggies. While there are more than 600 different types of carotenoids, a few you might have heard of include lycopene, beta carotene and lutein. Carotenoids have antioxidant properties—a boost to your immune system and can help to lower inflammation. Try these beautifully colored carotenoid-packed fruits and vegetables:

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Collard greens
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins A, C, D, E and K as well as the nine vitamins that make up the B complex are a vital part of a healthy diet. Each one of these 14 vitamins plays a key role in various parts of your body’s well-being. A diet rich in produce is also a great source of minerals. Potassium is the mineral most abundant in fruits and vegetables, and is a contributor to lower blood pressure. While no single fruit or vegetable contains all vitamins and minerals, when you eat a variety of produce, you’ll be taking in an abundance of these important nutrients.

Where to start?

It’s easy to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet when you start with the things you know and love. Take a familiar dinner and veggify it! Love fish? Serve it up on a bed of greens with shredded cabbage, tomatoes and avocados, then dress with a sweet and savory mango salsa—colorful and delicious. Is pasta your thing? Try subbing the pasta with potassium-rich spaghetti squash, top it with your favorite sauce, add a side salad and you’ve got a perfect dinner. Or, take the bun out of your burger and serve it smothered in your favorite vegetables sautéed in olive oil.

Easy and delicious, juicing fruits and vegetables, either by themselves or in combinations, is a super refreshing way to get those recommended five servings a day. Check out our great article, Juicing Made Easy, where you’ll learn more and discover tasty sippable combos!

Start Fresh What To Eat

Get prepared

Plan your weekly meals ahead of time to stay on track with this downloadable worksheet!

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Did you know?

More tomatoes are consumed in the U.S. than any other single fruit or vegetable!

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Protein & Oat Bars

These bars are a great way to easily add nutrients to your diet. In just a few steps, you’ll have granola bars to last you a full week. They can also be easily customized to fit into your lifestyle.

1. Add oats, chocolate chips and protein powder to a food processor and blitz until coarse.

2. Add oil, peanut butter and honey and blend for 10 seconds until combined. It should be a dough like consistency. Add a splash of water to help bind together if needed.

3. Flatten in a tray and refrigerate until ready to use. Cut into bars and use as required.

 

Island Fusion Reload Smoothie

MRM’s Reload Powder adds a tasty sweetness to what would otherwise be a sharp-tasting smoothie. You can easily make this smoothie vegan by using dairy-free yogurt.

1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

 

Driven Ice Cubes

You’ll love how perfect these ice cubes will be as an addition to your pre-workout drink or in your favorite martini too!

1. Lay a mixed berry or 2 (if using) in an ice cube freezer tray.

2. Mix 1/2 serving of MRM Driven with the water and shake for 10 seconds. Pour into ice cube moulds and freeze overnight.

3. Can be used with a serving of driven, or in a water bottle.