Guilt-Free Cupcakes: Indulge without the bulge is now available!

My first book, Guilt-Free Cupcakes: Indulge without the bulge, is now available for purchase as an e-book on my website and as a download on the Kindle and Nook!

With cupcakes that are loaded with flavor, without the added fat and calories, Guilt-Free Cupcakes: Indulge without the bulge, shows you how to satisfy your sweet tooth without expanding your waistline. From “Cubcakes” to “Grand Groundhog Cupcakes”, you will not only find healthy recipes, but beautifully designed cupcakes for every occasion.

You’ll find:
Recipes for more than 18 adorably decorated low-calorie cupcakes and frostings
Beautiful photographs of every recipe
Tips for baking light
Ideas for getting kids involved in the kitchen
Interesting nutrition facts and the latest research
Halloween, Christmas, character and animal cupcake designs
Fun facts, kids activities, party planning ideas and more!

Perfect for bake sales, holiday parties, classroom treats or just an everyday dessert, Guilt-Free Cupcakes is your source for baking adorable and low-calorie cupcakes!

Buy the book today for awesome Halloween cupcakes! I’m offering a introductory price of only $3.99! The price will go up to $9.99 soon, so get your copy while it’s on sale today! I’d love to hear what you think! Please write a review in the Amazon store or on the blog!

Buy it today! <a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?i=1006947&c=cart&cl=188322″ onClick=”javascript:ejw=window.open(this.href,’paypal’,’width=850,height=600,toolbar=no,location=no,directories=no,menubar=no,status=1,resizable=yes,scrollbars=yes’);ejw.focus();this.blur();return false;” target=”paypal”><img src=”http://www.e-junkie.com/ej/x-click-but22.gif” border=”0″  alt=”Add to Cart” /></a>

Heathfully,

Stacy

Dreamy Creamy Healthy Banana Spilt

A heat wave is taking the country by storm, but no need to succumb to high calorie, fat-laden ice cream to cool off. Indulge in this decadent banana spilt to satisfy your sweet tooth and beat the heat. At the risk of being called blasphemous for creating a banana spilt ice cream without true “ice cream,” I think this banana spilt hits the spot. I replaced the ice cream with nonfat Greek yogurt for a creamy, lower-calore, lower-sugar, protein packed dessert! Top it off with fresh produce from the farmer’s market and you have a dessert worthy to take a seat at the breakfast table. I created this recipe for my new cookbook, Culinary Duct Tape: The Magic of Greek Yogurt, which will I will offer as an e-book very soon! Let me know if you are interested in ordering a copy and I’ll put you on the pre-order waiting list.

Banana Split

•1 banana

•3 Tablespoons Greek nonfat yogurt

•3 of each raspberries, blueberries and cherries

•2 teaspoons sugar-free chocolate syrup

 

Slice banana in half lengthwise. Place in dish and top with three tablespoons of greek yogurt. Top each scoop of yogurt with berries. Drizzle with sugar-free chocolate syrup.

 

My kids absolutely loved this and felt extra special eating it from a banana spilt dessert dish. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Pantry Organization for Cooking Clean

My pantry was driving me crazy. I do a lot of cooking and baking for Five a Day the Fun Way and I use a variety of healthy ingredients, from brown rice flour to sucanat to wheat germ. This results in my pantry overflowing with bags of flours, sugars, oats and more! Not only are the bags unattractive, but they leak, rip, and take up a lot of room.  Not to mention how difficult it is to scoop and measure from the flimsy bags.

 

 

When I searched for ten minutes to find a bag of coffee and flour went spilling out onto the counter, I decided it was time to overhaul my pantry.

 

I bought twenty glass jars/Burken of different sizes at Ikea. I felt a huge sense of satisfaction as I dumped out the bags into the neat little glass jars and made labels to identify the contents.

 

Since I’ve migrated to this system, cooking has been much easier. I can quickly find what I need, I can clearly see when I’m running low on a particular ingredient and I love looking at a streamlined pantry.

 

All you need are glass jars with lids and a label maker. You will notice in the picture that I have “Power Flour” in one of my canisters. Power Flour is a mixture of different flours, which is great to use in your baking recipes. Sometimes 100% whole wheat flour can make baked items tough. This mixture combines a variety of flours so you receive maximum nutritional value and high quality results.

 

This Power Flour recipe is from Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet cookbook.

 

 

 

 

 

Power Flour

¼ cup barley flour

½ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup amaranth flour

¼ cup spelt flour

¼ cup kamut flour

¼ cup whole-wheat flour

Simply combine all of the flours together in a big glass jar and you’ll have power flour ready to go for all of your baking recipes.

I love the eat clean diet. It is simple, yet effective. My favorite Eat Clean Diet Cookbook is Tosca Reno’s Family Cookbook for kids. My kids love the clean fish sticks and power bars.

Do you have any pantry organization tips?

 

Eat Your F**king Vegetables

Have you heard of the book Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach?  If so, you’ll get this post. If not, go buy the f**ing book for a good laugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat Your F**king Vegetables


The ranch dressing is on the side, my love

I’ve steamed the carrots just how you like

Eat them up real quick

And I’ll buy you a brand new bike

Please eat your f**ing vegetables

 

I’ve sculpted sailboats from peppers

And avocado butterflies

I’ve snuck zucchini in muffins

And stuck to my lies

Now eat your f**ing vegetables

 

Do you like the homemade spring roll

Or the brussel spourts snowman

I roasted your favorite potatoes

And got burned on the pan

Eat your f**ing vegetables

 

You like food on a stick

I slaved hours making veggie kabobs

I skewed all of your favorites

Tomatoes, Squash and Broccoli raab

Open up and eat your f**king vegetables

 

I spent all day on Sunday

Packing your lunch for school

I heard you threw it in the trash

That is so not cool

That’s it….eat your f**king vegetables

 

I want you to grow up strong and healthy

And I love you more than life itself

When you are a grown man

I want you to have more than chicken nuggest on your shelf

So stop complaining and eat your f***king vegetables

 

**Disclaimer – I love my kids more than anything in the world and would never utter these words to them, but c’mon parents, tell me that you’ve never actually thought these words?

Five A Day The Make-Ahead Way

I am excited to announce our guest post today is from Devon, the founder of Eastside Make-Ahead Mamas.  Devon is a mom who works full-time and needed a way to prepare healthy meals for

her family even on those busy weeknights. She started Eastside Make-Ahead Mamas, a group of moms who get together once a month to prepare make-ahead meals in “swap” style for their families.  She also runs the Eastside Make-Ahead Mamas Blog, where she shares recipes, tips, and tricks for preparing healthy, time-saving, make-ahead meals.  Follow her on Twitter at @MamasMakeAhead. Visit the Eastside Make-Ahead Mamas Blog for more great make-ahead recipes and tips!

As a reader of Five a Day the Fun Way, there’s no doubt you already know the benefits of eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  But let’s face it: while the theory is sound, the concept often fails in the execution stages.  If you’re like me, you’ve discovered that providing fresh fruit and veggies for your family often means going to the grocery store more than once each week, planning and organizing meals and snacks ahead of time (and before the grocery store trip!), and then taking time to prepare all of those fresh foods can be a challenge. Here are just a few ways that you can use make-ahead cooking techniques to work more fruits and veggies into you and your family’s everyday meals.

Breakfast. The smartest meal of the day!  Here are a few ways to make it even smarter:

  • Dice onions and bell peppers of all flavors. Pack (densely) into an ice cube tray, and top off with chicken broth.   Sautee one “veggie cube” in your omelet or breakfast burrito each morning.
  • Chop and then “flash freeze” fruit by arranging it on a cookie sheet in the freezer, all in one layer.  Leave for a few hours, and once hard (but not necessarily frozen through), divide into individual portions in freezer bags.  Pull them out to top your cereal or oatmeal, or simply eat as finger food during the commute.

 

Morning Snack. This meal was a hurdle for me, as my default for years was a sugar-packed latte.  Now, I skip the latte and opt for one of these:

  • Try a fresh fruit smoothie. Puree one cup frozen fruit in a blender with some agave nectar or fruit juice for sweetener.  Add milk for some protein.
  • Pack some fruit on a stick; because everything is better on a stick!

 

Lunch. Making your lunch ahead is a great way to save time in your morning routine!

  • If you have access to a microwave at work, re-heating leftovers from your favorite veggie-packed make-ahead dinners is a great start to eating a healthy lunch.
  • Most kids at school don’t have access to a microwave, so we pack cold lunches for them.  Check out these five tips for a nutritious make-ahead lunch from Five A Day the Fun Way.
  • Add guacamole (a fruit!) to your child’s sandwich instead of mayonnaise.  To keep it healthy, don’t mix in sour cream or mayo to make your guac; avocados and a few spices are all it takes

Afternoon Snack. A carb-rich afternoon snack can exacerbate most people’s natural tendency to get sleepy in the afternoons.  These protein-packed veggies can help boost your energy during that afternoon slump:

  • A handful of peanuts, tree nuts, or sunflower seeds.  (Vacuum seal them, such as with a FoodSaver – they’ll keep for months or more on your shelf!)
  • Corn tortilla chips with hummus.  (Yes, you can freeze hummus and guacamole.  They will just need a good stir once they thaw.)
  • Cold quinoa salad, topped with diced red bell peppers and black beans.

 

 

Dinner. I never miss this opportunity to load up on the veggies.  Here are some ways to make sure you never miss them in your dinner, even when you miss your trip to the store:

  • Keep an extra bag of frozen southwest vegetable blend or mixed vegetables in your freezer.  Mix them in with your starch (such as rice, quinoa, or even pasta or mashed potatoes).  When it comes to simple veggies for dinner, bags of frozen veggies can’t be beat.
  • Make ahead one-pot meals.  These not only minimize the dishes that need to be cleaned at the end of the meal, but they also are a great way to sneak vegetables (and colors!) into your meals.
  • Skip buttering your bread, and roast garlic instead!  It spreads on just like butter, but provides numerous health benefits; and yes, it’s a vegetable!

Dessert. Don’t think dessert is a great opportunity to get your five a day?  Think again!

  • Again, commercially frozen bags are your friend.  Peaches, strawberries, tropical blend; you name it, you can keep it ready and on-hand!
  • Thaw frozen fruit and serve alone.  Add a tablespoon of agave nectar for an extra sweet treat.
  • Remember the fruit puree for smoothies above?  Freeze it on a stick, and you have homemade popsicles

There’s no limit to the ways you can make-ahead fruits and vegetables to work in your five a day, even on a busy schedule.  For more healthy make-ahead ideas for getting in your five a day, visit Devon’s blog, the Eastside Make Ahead Mamas Blog.  How do you make ahead your five a day?  Let us know!

Have Sex – Lose Weight

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Research shows that having frequent sex (safe sex in a committed relationship of course) offers many health benefits including weight loss, improved mood and a closer relationship. Sex burns approximately 150-200 calories per half hour. Given the recent research that shows exercise is equally beneficial done in 15-20 minute bursts throughout the day, use sex as part of your overall daily exercise routine. Just think….you can shave 15-20 minutes off of your morning exercise routine if you plan a romp in the sack that night with your man.

Kerry McCloskey found the benefits of frequent sex first hand. When she was engaged and in the throws of newlywed passion, she was having sex three times a week and lost 23 pounds in six months! She wrote a book, The Ultimate Sex Diet, to help other women acheive the same success.

Frequent sex not only improves the waistline, but it does wonders for a marriage. The highly talented author, Alisa Bowman, wrote the BEST marriage advice book I’ve ever read: Project Happily Ever After available on Amazon. Alisa’s marriage was falling apart, to the point that she was fantasizing about her husband’s funeral. She made one last-ditch effort to save her marriage and called it Project: Happily Ever After. She made sex a priority, opened up the lines of communication and made her own happily ever after. I highly recommend this book! I read it in only two days on my Kindle and was laughing and crying right there with Alisa along her journey.

Even if your marriage doesn’t need repair, make sex with your spouse a priority and reap the rewards! If you need more convincing, a healthy sex life:

1. Relieves stress

2. Boosts immunity

3. Burns calories

4. Improves cardiovascular health

5. Boosts self-esteem

6. Creates feeling of closeness & genorosity

7. Reduces pain

8. Strengthens pelvic floor muscles

9. Results in improved sleep patterns

10. Reduces prostate cancer risk

What do you think? How do you balance making the time for sex with your spouse, while balancing the demands of work, kids, chores and hobbies? As always, would love to hear from you!

Add this to your “Honey dew” list

Study after study shows that people basically eat three pounds of food a day, regardless whether the food is high calorie or low calorie. Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., a nutrition research at Pennsylvania State University, has conducted a ton of research on appetite and has found time and time again that people feel just as full after a low-calorie meal vs. a high-calorie meal, provided that both meals contain the same volume of food.  

So what does this mean? Foods with high volume and low calories are a dieter’s best friend. Watermelon, honeydew and soup all have one thing in common: they are full of water and fiber and low in calories. Basically, you will feel more full and satisfied from a cup of melon than a slice of cheesecake.

Honeydew is a great high volume food because about 90 percent of the melon is water.  Research shows that water in foods, such as melon and soup, do a better job of appetite control than solid food plus a glass of water, although no one knows why. The Volumetrics Diet explains this in more detail and is a great everyday diet solution.

Honeydew is not only great because it is low-calorie, it also is full of potassium, vitamin A, calcium and magnesium. One cup of honeydew has a whopping 404 mg of potassium! Potassium can lower rates of heart disease and stroke and is a key component of healthy blood pressure.  One study found that people with high blood pressure who ate potassium-rich foods lowered their risk of fatal stroke by 40 percent.

Honeydew and other melons are a great choice for keeping kids hydrated during the hot days of summer and satisfying the entire family’s appetite between meals.

Now that summer is approaching, melons, such as honeydew and watermelon are in season. So add honeydew to your “honey do” list and pick one up for your family.

I personally prefer to eat melon plain and I am not a fan of it in soup or smoothie’s, but I found a great recipe on Epicurious for a honeydew-lime Popsicle that I wanted to share with you. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Do you like honeydew? What do you think about the study that high-volume foods are the key to weight loss? I’d love to hear from you!

Honeydew Lime Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup superfine or regular granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (3 1/2-lb) ripe honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice

Directions

  • Dissolve sugar in water by stirring if using superfine or by heating in a small heavy saucepan if using regular granulated (then cool).
  • Blend half of melon and half of lime juice in a blender until smooth. Add syrup and remaining melon and lime juice and purée until smooth. Force purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-quart glass measure or bowl, pressing on solids and then discarding them.
  • Pour mixture into molds and freeze until slushy, about 2 hours.
  • Insert sticks, and then freeze Popsicles until completely hardened, at least 6 hours.

Make your own Mango BBQ Sauce

Last week I blogged about the top sneaky sugar foods. Topping that list was my favorite barbecue sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s. I was quite shocked to learn that it not only has 15 grams of sugar per serving, but also has five different types of sugar, including high fructose corn syrup (which is the first ingredient.)

If I’m going to eat sugar, I want a brownie or ice cream…not barbecue sauce! I tossed my store-bought barecue sauce in the trash and set out to make my own. I had never made my own barbeque sauce before and honestly, I was a little intimidated, but I found a healthy, clean and easy recipe in the May 2011 edition of Oxygen magazine for Mango Barbecue Sauce.

It was simple to whip up this barbecue sauce and my entire family loves it. I have already used it as a dipping sauce for homemade chicken nuggets, marinade and sauté. This versatile sauce is low in calories and sugar  – only 20 calories and 3 grams of sugar per serving vs. 70 calories and 15 grams of sugar for the commercially made stuff!

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think:

Mango BBQ Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes
1Cup Water
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Cup molasses
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

1) Heat olive oil in a skillet on med/high heat

2) Add onions, garlic and mango. Saute until soft, about 3 min

3) Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. bring to a boil on med/high heat. reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 30min.

4) Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least one hour.

5) Use a hand blender to puree to liquify ingredients

6. Use a funnel to transfer the barbeque sauce from the pan to sterilized mason jars.

Serving size: 2 Tbsp.: Calories: 20, Sodium: 45mg, Total Carbs: 5g, Sugars: 3g