Fall Chili Recipes—3 Ways

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When it comes to cooking chili, there are so many different flavors, types and ingredients to use—with beans being a must. Don’t settle for the same-old chili recipe, try something new! We reached out to our well-known blogger friends to cook up their favorite recipes. Keep things toasty in cooler temps with these three fall chili recipes.

White Chicken Chili

This delicious spin on traditional chili will leave your taste buds craving more. Flavorful green chiles are paired with warm spices, white beans and sautéed chicken for a filling and hearty meal. White Chicken Chili From Delicious Obsessions

Ingredients:

  • 1 lg. Sweet onion (Vidalia is great), finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 lb. Sprouts Old Tyme Butcher Shop Organic Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 2 15.5-oz. cans of Sprouts Organic Great Northern Beans (low-sodium)
  • 2 4-oz. cans Sprouts Diced Green Chiles (mild or hot depending your tastes)
  • 2 cups Sprouts Organic Chicken Stock (low-sodium)
  • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch (or flour/starch of your choice for thickening)—mixed with 4 Tbsp. of broth from the soup pot to make a slurry
  • 1 13.5-oz. can Sprouts Organic Full-Fat Coconut Milk (or heavy cream)
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Peel your onion and chop finely.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat 2 Tbsp. of coconut oil or avocado oil over medium heat and add onions.
  3. While your onions are cooking, cut your chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks.
  4. When your onions are golden brown and soft, add the chicken to the pan and continue to sauté until the chicken is golden brown and close to done.
  5. Stir in your cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder and sea salt.
  6. Add your beans, green chiles and chicken stock and stir.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20–30 minutes.
  8. Make a slurry with your cornstarch and approximately 4 tablespoons of hot broth from the soup pot and then pour the slurry in. Stir well.
  9. Add the coconut milk, fresh cilantro and lime juice and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove from heat and serve with extra cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips or whatever your heart desires. This soup tastes great right after making, but it tastes even better the next day! It also freezes and reheats nicely.

Harvest ChiliAutumn Harvest Chili

Even the pickiest eaters will love this warm fall favorite which features tons of veggies. With greens, bell pepper, chickpeas, butternut squash purée, tomatoes, apples, black-eyed peas and corn, it is a perfect better-for-you option when the weather gets cool. From Nosh and Nourish

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Sprouts Super Greens
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced garlic
  • 1 Bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Apple, diced (I use Gala)
  • 1 lb. Ground beef (optional, omit to keep vegetarian)
  • 1 Tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning (or sub salt & pepper)
  • 29 oz. Sprouts Organic Diced Tomatoes (~two 14.5-oz. cans)
  • 1/3 cup Canned butternut squash (or sub pumpkin)
  • 30 oz. Black-eyed peas, drained & rinsed
  • 15 oz. Sprouts Organic Chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 64 oz. Sprouts Chicken Stock (or sub vegetable broth to keep vegetarian)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Sprouts Chile Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Molasses
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 15 oz. Organic sweet kernel corn

Instructions:

  1. Dice the greens, bell pepper and apple. In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté these veggies with the minced garlic for approximately 5 minutes until the bell pepper is softened.
  2. OPTIONAL (if using meat), remove the sautéed vegetables from the stockpot and place them in a container to save for later. Put the ground beef into the stockpot over medium heat and cook until all the meat is browned, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sautéed veggies that you set aside and all the remaining ingredients.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with cornbread (optional).

Vegetarian ChiliSlow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

With fall here, there is nothing better than a good bowl of chili. With the addition of beer and letting the slow cooker do the work, this vegetarian version of chili with quinoa in it is a great option for any weeknight meal. Cooking the onions with the other veggies before adding into the slow cooker enhances the flavor of the chili. With any chili, the toppings are what makes it fun—so do not forget the cheese, avocados and cilantro. From Novice Housewife

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Celery, chopped
  • 1 lg. Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 Jalapeños, finely chopped plus more to sprinkle on the top
  • 1/2 cup Quinoa
  • 1 can Sprouts Black Beans
  • 1 28-oz. can Sprouts Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can Sprouts Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 12-oz. Bottle beer (strong, dark beer works well)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Chile Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lg. lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. Red chile flakes
  • Cheese, avocado, sour cream/Greek yogurt, cilantro, to serve
  1. In a pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds.
  2. Add the celery and onions and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add the bell peppers, and jalapeños and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the cooked veggies to the crockpot along with the beans, quinoa, tomatoes, beer, seasoning, cumin, chile flakes and bay leaf.
  5. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  6. Serve with cheese, avocado, cilantro, jalapeños and crackers or bread.
  7. The chili actually gets better the next day, so it is a great dish to make ahead.
 

Eggnog: Your Yule Fuel

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Eggnog is the ideal novelty drink to cozy up with during the holidays. For many, it is part of yuletide family tradition and is a symbol of the season. You can drink it out of the carton, make it from scratch, spike it—the possibilities are endless! Serving eggnog plain may not appeal to everyone, so here are some egg-cellent healthy twists on classic eggnog that all can enjoy: EGGNOG CHIA PUDDING

Eggnod Chia Pudding

Paleo, Gluten-Free Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Eggnog
  • 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of Nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp. Chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients until combined. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Garnish with any topping of your choice. Enjoy!
           
SPICED TURMERIC EGGNOG

Spiced Turmeric Eggnog

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Serves 6–8

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground cinnamon
  • 3-5 tsp. Ground turmeric
  • 6 cups Coconut milk
  • 6 Egg yolks

Instructions:

  1. Heat coconut milk and honey until evenly warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, cinnamon and turmeric in a mixing bowl.
  3. Remove coconut milk from the stove and slowly add in half of the coconut milk to the egg yolks to warm. Whisk gently to combine.
  4. Combine the coconut and egg mixture back into the pot and bring to a low-medium heat.
  5. Whisk until it thickens slightly and forms a smooth, frothy layer.
  6. Enjoy hot or place in the fridge to enjoy chilled.

Eggnog Protein Shake

“Egg”Nog Protein Shake

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein Vanilla
  • 1 Frozen banana
  • 1 tsp. Honey
  • 1 pinch Ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup Cashew milk

Instructions:

  1. Combine cashew milk, egg white powder, banana, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, honey, and nutmeg into a high-power blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Garnish with grated nutmeg and enjoy!
 

Bulk Dried Fruits and Nuts

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Stored properly, fresh nuts can be kept in great shape for a year. You don’t have to be afraid of buying a bunch at a time. Just store them in an airtight container in the fridge or put them in the freezer and they will keep for months. If they lose their crunchiness in the fridge, all you need to do is toast them for 10–15 minutes at 200°F and they are good-as-new. Raw almonds spilling out of small glass bowl

Almonds

Why We Love Them: A fresh almond is a revelation, a far different thing from the brown, often wizened nut that you find in bags on supermarket shelves. At its best, no more than a month off the tree, an almond is golden, plump and tender with a mellow, buttery flavor. Health Benefits: One ounce provides half your daily vitamin E—more than any other nut. It also supplies 8 percent of your daily calcium needs. 1/4 cup (about 23 nuts) contains 192 calories, 16 g. fat, 4 g. fiber Try This Recipe: Baked Pears with Blue Cheese              

WALNUTS

Why We Love Them:

The rich, robust, almost smoky taste of walnuts can turn everyday dishes into exciting signature creations. No other nut can match the distinctive pungent flavor that has elevated the walnut to the status of the “Ultimate Nut” for foodies who place rigorous demands on their recipes. Health Benefits: Walnuts deliver omega-3 fatty acids and contain antioxidants that support the immune system. Being low in saturated fats, high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and having no cholesterol makes it a tough nut to beat. 30 grams (about a small handful) contains 210 calories, 20 g. fat, 3 g. fiber Try This Recipe: Cabbage Walnut & Gorgonzola Salad

MEDJOOL DATES

Why We Love Them: Considered the diamond of dates, Medjools are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture. Bite into one, and your teeth sink into satisfyingly sticky flesh that tastes of rich caramel, hints of wild honey and a touch of cinnamon. Health Benefits: Dates are loaded with fiber and contain more potassium than bananas, yet they are virtually fat-, cholesterol- and sodium-free. Their naturally occurring sugars also make them energy boosters. 2 dates contain 120 calories, 0 g. fat, 3 g. fiber Try This Recipe: Spinach Salad with Carrots, Dates and Goat Cheese

PISTACHIOS

Why We Love Them: Pistachios have a wonderful sweet-nutty taste that adds to any fish, chicken, fruit or veggie dish. They can be chopped up as a crunchy topping, sprinkled whole on salads and ground into butter. You can bake them into muffins, grill them with fish and stir-fry them with asparagus—your imagination is the limit. Health Benefits: Nutritionally, fresh pistachios contain vitamins A, B and C along with calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. 1 ounce contains 170 calories, 13 g. fat, 3 g. fiber Try This Recipe: Pumpkin Crusted Salmon

DRIED CRANBERRIES

Why We Love Them: Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving turkey. Dried cranberries add color and a tart burst of flavor to salads, baked goods and cereals and provide a tasty source of energy when you eat them on their own as a snack. Health Benefits: The recommended serving size for dried cranberries is 1 ounce, which counts as slightly less than one serving of fruit. They are low in calories and fat, and a good source of dietary fiber. 1 ounce contains 90 calories, 0 g. fat, 2 g. fiber Try This Recipe: Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pears and Cranberries Why We Love Them: Peanuts originated in South America, but have become an important crop throughout the southern half of the United States. They are great for snacking on, and are extremely versatile in both sweet and savory recipes. Health Benefits: Peanuts are a good source of protein and help to include more of the “good fat” (unsaturated fat). They naturally have zero cholesterol. 1 ounce contains 160 calories, 11 g. fat, 4 g. fiber Try This Recipe: Homemade Peanut Butter  

Bite-sized Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

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Surprise mom on her special day with a batch of these bite-sized treats, a fresh floral bouquet and a heartwarming note. We’ve rounded up three of our blogger friends to share their Mother’s Day recipes. Mini Quiche Recipe

Gluten-free Mini Quiche Recipe

Recipe By: One Lovely Life food blog Whether you’re making brunch for a crowd or doing weekly meal prep, these mini quiches with hash brown crusts are the perfect dish to serve! They are naturally gluten- and dairy-free, and you can fill them with your favorite toppings! Ingredients:
  • 1 16-oz. pkg. Sprouts Brand Organic Frozen Hash Browns, thawed
  • 3–4 Tbsp. Sprouts Brand Olive Oil, melted butter or ghee
  • 1–2 cups Toppings (see below for suggestions)
  • 8 Eggs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine thawed hash browns with olive oil.
  3. Divide hash browns between 12 muffin cups. Press down the center to create a well and press the sides firmly against the rim of the muffin cup.
  4. Bake hash brown “cups” at 425°F for 20–30 minutes, or until they start to brown.
  5. Remove from oven and add desired toppings to the center of each hash brown cup.
  6. Whisk eggs in a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup with a spout) with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  7. Working gently, pour egg mixture over the toppings just to fill.
  8. Bake again at 425°F for 20–25 minutes, or until centers are just set.
  9. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
 
Fruit Tart Recipe

Mini Yogurt Fruit Tart Recipe

Recipe By: Recipes to Nourish Mini Yogurt Fruit Tarts are a fun little bite for special occasions and brunches. These healthy, grain-free tarts are topped with protein-rich Greek yogurt and fresh berries, nestled on a homemade pistachio crust.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Pistachios, shelled
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 Tbsp. Sprouts Brand Cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Sprouts Brand Butter, melted (can also use melted ghee or avocado oil)
  • 3/4–1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1–1 1/2 cup Fresh organic berries
  • 4 Tbsp. Organic apricot preserves (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place Medjool dates in a small bowl and cover with warm water to soak and soften for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Get a muffin pan ready and set aside.
  3. Place pistachios, soaked and drained Medjool dates, cocoa powder and healthy fat of choice in a food processor.
  4. Pulse about 3–5 times, just until combined (do not over mix it or it will turn into pistachio butter).
  5. Evenly distribute mixture in 12 muffin cups.
  6. Using clean hands, press the mixture down into each muffin cup, forming a mini crust that covers the bottom and comes up the edges about 1/2 inch.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 7–8 minutes.
  8. Allow the mini tarts to cool completely in the muffin pan, about 30 minutes, before gently removing the mini tart crusts (do not attempt to remove them until they are completely cool or they will break).
  9. Top each mini tart with about 1 tablespoon of yogurt. Add 1 teaspoon of the optional apricot preserves on top of the yogurt.
  10. Top with each mini tart with fresh berries.
  11. Serve immediately.
 
Egg Bites Recipe

Mushroom & Sun-dried Tomato Egg Bite Recipe

Recipe By: Handmade in the Heartland These delicious veggie-filled egg cups are perfect for brunch!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Sprouts Brand Organic Eggs
  • 2/3 cup Milk
  • 2 cups Cheese, shredded (1 cup each Havarti & Fontina)
  • 1 8-oz. container Crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 Garlic clove, diced
  • 1/3 cup Chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. Sprouts Brand Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms release their juices, then add garlic and rosemary. Cook for 1–2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Add eggs to a large mixing bowl and beat. Add the mushroom mixture along with the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour into 24 mini muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray or buttered. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 20–25 minutes. You want the middle of the eggs to be fully cooked and not wobbly.
  6. Remove and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
 

Berry & Mint Infused Water for the Fourth of July

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sparkling water infused with berries and mint By Shanley Cox, Out To Eat When you’re on the hunt for hydration, sometimes plain old water doesn’t cut it. Try swapping your tired H20 with infused water for a boost of flavor and some added flair. Sprouts’ vast selection of fruit and herbs is a playground for infused water combinations. If you’re planning July 4th festivities, try Berry & Mint Infused Water. All you need is a few simple ingredients. The colors are perfect for Fourth of July celebrations and the flavor will keep you motivated to sip all summer and maintain that eight-glass-a-day routine. Simply combine one gallon of water with one cup of blackberries and strawberries and eight fresh mint sprigs. Stir everything together, then let the water chill in the fridge for at least one hour before drinking. (It’s best to drink within two days.) Still water can be substituted for sparkling water if you prefer. Visit Shanley’s full post and learn about other infused water combinations.            

Shanley CoxAbout Shanley Cox

Shanley Cox chronicles the culinary life of a hungry 20-nothing in Out To Eat. There she divulges the most delicious and unique dishes in Kansas City (and beyond). She’s on a mission to share the “good food news” and help others appreciate local restaurants, bars and businesses.  

A Holiday Gift Guide

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Every year you face the same dilemma: What should I get for my loved ones? What did I get them last year? And, of course, can I get away with a simple gift card? We recommend making something crafted with love by your very own hands. It’s easier than you think, and in the end, it really is the thought that counts. Even if you haven’t attempted a handmade gift since that stunning Crayola family portrait a few decades ago, there is hope this holiday season. Admittedly, some of it comes from the Internet, where anything is seemingly possible; but we’ve unearthed a few good handcrafted gift ideas that seem both charming and simple. Candles, almonds, and present underneath a pine tree

Herb-Infused Olive Oil

Add a little spice to plain old olive oil. Infused olive oils are perfect for sautéeing your favorite vegetables, as a dressing, or drizzled on freshly cooked hot pasta with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. They also look pretty snazzy just sitting there in the bottle, if you get some of the cool bottles from The Container Store. Here’s how: Stuff a handful of herbs in decorative, food-safe bottles, preferably with a rubber stopper, and add oil. Try chile peppers for a kick, or rosemary for a classic taste. Adorn the bottles with pretty ribbon and a label describing what’s inside. Please Note: If fresh herbs are used, then the oil must be stored in a cool dry place (in the refrigerator for garlic) and used within a week to avoid spoilage and possible illness. The safest bet is to use fresh herbs that have been washed and then completely dried in a food dehydrator until all moisture is gone. Make it even more special: Pair with a bottle of fine balsamic vinegar and a few of your favorite olive oil recipes.

Aztec Hot Chocolate

Nothing says comfort like a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a chilly winter’s night. Kick up the volume with this exotic twist on classic cocoa, guaranteed to toast your tootsies. Here’s how: In a bowl, combine 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, 3/4 cup superfine sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (found in the Bulk spice area), 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Transfer mix into a small container or a cellophane bag and attach with a note to mix 2-3 tablespoons with 1 cup of hot water or milk. Make it even more special: Tuck the cocoa into a BPA-free travel mug with a few cinnamon sticks bundled with a bow.

Scented Bath Salts

In the little corner of the store we like to call “HBA” (Health and Body Care), you’ll find everything you need to give the gift of relaxation in a warm bath. Measure three cups of Epsom salt into a large plastic Ziploc storage bag. Add 10-15 drops of your choice of 100 percent pure essential oil. (Popular options include eucalyptus, which is clarifying, and lavender, which is calming; but Sprouts has many to choose from.) Shake, squeeze, and massage bag vigorously to mix the salts and oil. Package the scented salts in a pretty glass jar with a lid. Be sure to print up some labels to mark the scents. Make it even more special: Consider gifting the bath salts with an inflatable bath pillow and a few votive candles in a matching scent. If handmade gifts are not your speed, Sprouts still has you covered for inexpensive yet thoughtful items guaranteed to produce a smile. You might find books and CDs, organic cotton gifts, scented sachets, and always, always, lots of vino (remember, when you buy any six bottles, mix and match, you get a free wine carrier—a great excuse to play the “one for you and two for me” game!).  

Superfoods for a Super New Year

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If you look up the definition of a superfood, you’ll likely find something along the lines of “a nutrient-rich food considered especially beneficial for health and well-being.” This definition may sound vague. That’s because it is. There’s no official or regulated definition of a superfood. Even so, there are foods that rise to the top when it comes to the nutrients they offer. Superfoods can help you get the most nutrition bang per bite. They provide more fiber, vitamins, minerals and/or phytonutrients compared to other foods. Though you may initially think of exotic foods like açai, moringa, maca or goji berries, there are plenty of everyday superfoods in the produce section. Since it’s winter and the start of a brand new year, I thought I’d highlight a few of the season’s hottest superfoods Bowl of Cauliflower

Cauliflower

This cruciferous vegetable has grown in popularity over the past few years. It’s packed with cancer-fighting compounds and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Enjoy cauliflower raw, simply roasted, in a stir-fry or puréed into soup. Jump on the “cauliflower rice” trend with ease by picking up a package of Sprouts Cauliflower Crumbles in the produce section next time you shop.
Chicories

Chicories

Haven’t heard of this one? Chicories are those bitter winter greens like endive and escarole or purple radicchio. They are a good source of vitamin C and may also help boost heart health. Use endive to scoop and serve a bread-free tuna or chickpea salad. Grill or sauté radicchio for a warm winter salad or toss it into vegetable soup.  
Pomegranates

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are one of the few foods that aren’t always easy to find. That’s not the case in the winter. They thrive in cooler temperatures from October to January. Pomegranates are known for their antioxidants. A beautiful, sweet-tart addition to greens, smoothies and winter fruit salads, pomegranates are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins C and K.
Winter Squash cut in half

Winter Squash

Though pumpkin gets all of the attention in the fall, it’s not the only gourd in the patch. Roast or purée an acorn, delicata, kabocha or butternut squash for some variety. Enjoy the different winter squashes prepared sweet, savory, curried or spicy. With a deep orange to yellow flesh, winter squash is bursting with vitamin A (as beta-carotene), vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Bonus: Roast or dry the seeds and enjoy a protein- and magnesium-rich snack or salad topper.
Cup of Matcha

Matcha

Though matcha is available anytime you want it, this green gold is a warm and comforting answer to cold temperatures. Regular green tea is a popular healthy brew. Matcha (a green tea powder) takes it to another level. Because you drink or eat the entire leaf, you get more. Chock full of polyphenols, matcha is lauded for its anti-aging properties. Importantly, it may help lower the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. Also, if you’re trying to stay focused on your goals this year, sip on this. Matcha is known to boost mental alertness too without the jitters you might get from other caffeinated drinks. This list is not at all comprehensive. It’s just a sampling of the many superfoods available at this time of year. Put one or all in the rotation for a super new year.

About Marisa Moore

Helping People Eat Better One Morsel at a Time

Marisa Moore is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition. Using a food first, mostly plant-based approach, Marisa helps people eat better one morsel at a time through group classes, writing and developing healthy recipes. She enjoys working as a consultant for small and large businesses including food and nutrition startups and being an ambassador for delicious food and a healthy lifestyle. A past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Marisa is a trusted food and nutrition expert and has appeared in most major media outlets including the Today Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and has had regular appearances on CNN. Marisa is a contributing editor for Food & Nutrition Magazine and U.S. News & World Report blogger. Before launching her consultancy, Marisa worked as an outpatient dietitian, the corporate nutritionist for a national bakery café restaurant and she managed the employee worksite nutrition program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Always ready for new passport stamps, Marisa loves to explore new countries but in her spare time you might find her cooking, dancing salsa or on a walk with her dog Biscuit. Learn more at marisamoore.com.  

8 Eat-Well Habits for 2018

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Sweetened beverage with fruitStart Fresh in the New Year

It’s the start of a new year, and that means tackling new habits to improve your health. When it comes to New Year’s commitments, some of us unsurprisingly make the resolution to slim down or maintain a healthy weight. The simple truth is that the best solution for weight management is often a balanced diet with the right nutritionals. Fun, easy and doable, we’ve come up with a few ideas that can help kick start a healthy and happy 2018! They may feel small at first but it won’t take long to start noticing their positive impacts.
  1. Replace Sweetened Beverages: Would you eat a stack of ten sugar cubes? Drinking sugary sodas is equivalent to eating ten or more cubes of sugar. While our daily intake of added sugar should be 24 grams for women and 32 grams for men, most Americans take in 128 grams per day. Over time, this can lead to an increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Try switching to tea or naturally flavored water for a sweet-tooth fix. If it’s fizz that you’re missing, give seltzer water with lemon a try.
  2. Incorporate Healthy Snacks: Snacking has become a big part of our eating culture, however it’s easy to reach for the unhealthy ones. Look at snacking as a way to fuel your body between meals. While chips and crackers might offer a nice crunch, they are not healthy fuel for the body. Stay satisfied by munching on low calorie and nutrient-dense foods. Need some healthy snacking inspiration? Take a peek at our favorite snacks.
  3. Keep a Food Journal: How often do you stop to think about what you’re putting into your body? Keeping a food journal increases your awareness of how much and what you’re eating. This can help you track calorie intake as well as find out what’s missing in your diet. It doesn’t need to be the traditional pen and paper method either. Smartphone apps are an easy and simple way to track calories and to stay balanced.
  4. Pack a Healthy Lunch: Avoid lunch line temptations with a healthy, balanced lunch that will save you money and unwanted calories. In fact, studies show that going out to lunch can increase your calorie intake up to 30 percent. It’s nice knowing exactly what’s going into your homemade lunch whether it’s using up leftovers or being inspired by these easy lunch recipes. By planning ahead, you can cater your lunch according to the kind of day you’re going to have. If you’re hitting the gym after work, pack a little extra carbs and protein. If you know your day is less active, pack a light salad and fruit.
  5. Start with a Balanced Breakfast: With a title of “the most important meal of the day,” breakfast is not messing around. In fact, skipping breakfast may lead to overindulging later in the day, thwarting any effort to decrease daily calories. Studies show that those who eat breakfast maintain a healthy weight better than those who don’t. Plus, you’ll feel more energized for the busy day ahead by keeping blood sugar levels stabilized with morning meals consisting of high protein and complex carbs.
  6. Meatless Monday: Let vegetables and plant-based proteins take center stage for meals! Heart-healthy and fiber-rich, veggie-classics like legumes and whole grains make Meatless Monday a day to look forward to. The best part is being a flexitarian (not a full-fledge vegetarian) can still make a positive impact when it comes to both your health and the environment.
  7. Keep Your Diet in Balance: A cookie there, a piece of cake here—it’s easy to get out of balance with our food choices. Apps like My Macros, My FitnessPal and Lose It! are great for tracking the ratio of fats and carbs as well as proteins and calories that should be consumed daily. This helps ensure that we don’t go above and beyond our carb and calorie intake, no matter how tempting those cookies might be.
  8. Increase Your Superfoods & Antioxidants: Most of us have heard the great benefits that superfoods have to offer, but may not have found a favorite way to add them to our diets. While the USDA recommends eating two cups of fruits and two and half cups of veggies a day, it can be hard to fit this into your diet. An easy way can be boosting your juice with superfood add-ins that are packed with antioxidants and nutrients.

Source: Science News. (2015, April 22). Citing BMJ.  

Morning Ritual for a Healthier & Slimmer 2018

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Happy 2018! It’s a brand new year—a perfect time to re-assess your priorities and set your intentions for a healthier and happier year ahead. Did you know that there is a simple and delicious way to tweak your daily routine without having to completely re-invent your lifestyle? Starting off each morning on a healthier note matters the most. Begin each day with a simple homemade detox drink and a nutritious breakfast within the first hour of waking up. Why a morning detox drink? How you end an all-night fast first thing in the morning is critical for your health and other food decisions you make throughout the day. As for the ingredients, nothing supports the body’s cleansing and elimination ability like water! The water and lemon combination helps your body flush out toxins, aids in digestion, supports metabolism and may make your weight loss efforts easier. Making your own detox drink can be easy and inexpensive. Here are a few recipes to try:

Morning Detox Recipe

Recipe and image by Jennifer Caroff, Natural Chef & Health Coach foodsoulutions.com

Ingredients

  • 1 glass Warm filtered water (12–16 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Stir well and enjoy!

Tips!

  • Use a straw so your teeth are not exposed to the acid in lemon and ACV.
  • Drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Within 10–15 minutes of drinking your detox blend, make sure to consume a full, balanced breakfast rich in fiber and yes, free of refined sugar and carbs. You probably have heard of the old adage, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. Well, this couldn’t be truer! Skipping any meals, especially breakfast, can actually sabotage weight loss efforts because your metabolism slows down while you sleep and doesn’t rev back up until you eat again.
Try out this surprisingly refreshing winter smoothie as part of a balanced breakfast or ready-to-go pre- or post-workout snack. Using raw ginger and turmeric is the perfect way to aid digestion, as well as zing and boost your immunity during colder winter months.

Turmeric Ginger Mango Immunity SmoothieTurmeric Ginger Mango Immunity Smoothie

Recipe and image by Jennifer Caroff, Natural Chef & Health Coach foodsoulutions.com

Ingredients

  • 1 Ripe banana, peeled
  • 1/2 Mango, flesh ony (use frozen if you do not have fresh)
  • 1 cup Full-fat coconut milk (Full fat is where it’s at! It feeds your brain!)
  • 2 Tbsp. Whole flax seeds
  • 24 leaves Dino kale (remove tough stems)
  • 1 handful Parsley (ok to include stems)
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh turmeric root, peeled
  • 2 Medjool dates (or any kind you like)
  • 1 1/2–2 cups filtered water, vary amount for desired consistency

Directions

  1. Add ingredients to blender and process until smooth.
  2. Pour into a mason jar, grab a pretty straw and enjoy!

Tips!

  • Store smoothie in an airtight mason jar to keep cool for later use. Will stay fresh in refrigerator 12 days.

About Tigisti Weldeab

Tigisti Weldeab is a healthy living expert, lifestyle strategist and founder of Bella Diva Lifestyle. Through her coaching programs and blogging, she is on a mission to show busy men and women that healthy and beautiful can be simple, fun and delicious. Ms. Weldeab holds an MBA in management and wellness coaching certifications from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram under @Belladivalife.  

5 Move-More Habits for 2018

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Lady Jogging

Start Fresh in the New Year

Do you have big goals in mind for 2018? Maybe run the Route 66 Marathon (Oklahoma) … hike through the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (Georgia) … or trek the Grand Canyon (Arizona). Often these big dreams start with the smallest of healthy habits. Whatever your goals, we’ve come up with a list of small habits that are a synch to incorporate into your daily routine. They’ll have you moving more and feeling great!
  1. Move More: In addition to exercise, it’s important to move throughout the day. Doing this is easier than it sounds—simply take it one step at a time. By taking a flight of stairs you can burn around 10 calories versus only 1.5 waiting for the elevator. Set reminders to get up and stretch, visit a coworker’s desk rather than sending an email, or park your car far away for a few extra steps.
  2. Take Deep Breaths: Stop and take a long inhale, hold it, then slowly exhale. How do you feel? Did your shoulders drop and your mind become clearer? Deep breathing should be a part of our everyday busy and hectic lives. Taking deep breaths activates your lymphatic system, which can help to fight off colds and flus by strengthening your immune system. Not to mention, doing this is a natural and always accessible stress-relieving activity.
  3. Exercise 10–15 Minutes at a Time: Your busy schedule just lightened up! It’s recommended to exercise 43 minutes each day, but the good news is you don’t have to do it all at once. Walking, stretching and light weight lifting are great ways to break up your 43 minutes of exercise into easy 10–15 minute intervals. This can help support bone health, heart health and weight management.
  4. Get 7–8 Hours of Sleep: It may not seem like much beyond counting sheep but getting your z’s (about seven to eight hours) is super important! While you sleep, your body produces and releases hormones that fight infection, repair cells and build muscle tissue. It also has positive implications for your mental health, as lack of sleep has shown to increase risk of depression. To ensure a good night’s rest, turn off screens before bed, avoid naps and caffeine after three o’clock and stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
  5. Meditation & Yoga: Many of us strive to be thoughtful, in-the-moment people but our constant go-go-go lifestyle makes this difficult. Luckily, all you need is a few minutes to meditate. By taking a breather, you can come back to any situation refreshed and clear headed. Apps like Pause and Headspace can help guide you through some quiet time while simultaneously debunking the notion that being on your phone “takes you away from the present moment.”