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Dec 23

Tips to a Healthy Holiday

The holidays are a time for celebration with family, friends, and of course, food! Unfortunately, it is also a time when many struggle with over-eating and weight gain.


Nov 25

Next Day Turkey Primavera

Healthy Thanksgiving leftover recipes!


Nov 13

Coconut Craze

Over the past few years, coconut oil has quickly become the ?super substanceª of the wellness industry. Its health benefits positively affect your entire body, inside and out. Not only has coconut oil been proven to be a healthy and tasty cooking agent, but also a positive addition to your skin, hair, and even oral hygiene routines. So don't let your use of coconut oil stop in the kitchen Check out some of our favorite ways to use coconut oil all year long.
(Photo source: medicalnewstoday.com)


HEALTH Coconut oil is composed primarily of saturated fats that supply your body with HDLs (high density lipoproteins). HDLs help to remove cholesterol from the bloodstream and are associated with reduced risk of heart disease. In addition, coconut oil aids in protecting against various infections because it contains agents that are able to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. 

COOKING Cooking with heat often destroys much of the healthy fat content in a variety of oils. Luckily, coconut oil is an exception to this rule as a result of its high saturated fat composition. Its ability to withstand heat makes coconut oil ideal for cooking. Not to mention the fact that it adds a wonderful taste to any recipe!

SKIN When it comes to the skin, coconut oil has properties that allow it to be used as both a moisturizer and an exfoliator. A coconut oil + sugar combination can simultaneously clear pores and restore moisture, leaving your skin feeling soft and smelling delicious!

HAIR Lathering coconut oil through the hair has many benefits. Coconut oil easily penetrates the hair shaft, helping to reduce protein loss and retain moisture, thus protecting against breakage and leaving hair shiny and soft.

TEETH Coconut oil can be used for a process called ? oil pulling ª to promote oral health. Simply insert a spoonful of coconut oil into the mouth and swish for twenty minutes. Spit then rinse the mouth with warm water. This process draws out toxins and bacteria from the mouth and leaves you with whiter teeth and fresh breath. How are you using coconut oil this week?


Oct 09

The Teal Pumpkin Project

If your child has food allergies, you're always on the lookout. With the exchange of lots of different food types, Halloween can be an especially worrisome event. To help ease parents ª minds, and raise awareness of food allergies, houses in the Twin Cities, and other cities across the country, will be participating in the Food Allergy Research and Educations (FARE) new Halloween tradition the Teal Pumpkin Project FARE.                    

The new campaign encourages families to provide non-food treats like Halloween pencils, glow sticks, bracelets or bubbles for trick-or-treaters. To show your participation, FARE asks that you paint a pumpkin teal the color of food allergy awareness and place it in front of the house or in a well-lit window. In addition, FARE also has two free printable signs that indicates whether you have non-food treats or non-food and candy treats available. Interested in learning more? Kare 11 recently profiled the Teal Pumpkin Project. Check out their story here: Making Halloween safer for kids with allergies. And, if you're participating in the teal pumpkin project, we'd love to hear about it! Leave us a note in the comments below. Are you the parent of a child with allergies? We'd love to hear if you're participating in the teal pumpkin project.


Sep 04

The Minnesota State Fair ? A Health Seeker's Guide

It's that time of year again - the great Minnesota get-together is here! As wonderful as the fair is, it can be a challenge for those who are searching for something healthy to fuel their bodies. Fear not nutrient lovers, because Viverant has a special guide to the ins and outs of delicious and nutritious fair food that does not involve a deep fried, sugar coated, grease dripping ball of regret:

  • Bayou Bob's provides one of the best baskets of frozen red grapes you will ever encounter.
  • Corn Roast offers the classic fresh corn on the cob with butter at for a healthy source of both carbohydrates and fats.
  • Mario's is home to whole grain pita sandwiches and fresh squeezed lemonade.
  • Minneakabob allows meat-lovers to indulge in fresh sirloin steak, chicken, or buffalo kabobs for an excellent source of protein.
  • Minnesota Apples brews fresh pressed cider and pure applesauce to satisfy just about any sweet tooth.
  • The Produce Exchange features a variety of fresh fruits for you to fill your body with natural antioxidants and vitamins.
  • Simply Nuts offers almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, roasted pistachios, and more for an excellent source of healthy fats.
  • Strawberries me is home to fresh strawberries topped with nondairy whipping cream for a healthier dessert.
  • The Shrimp Shack offers nutrient-packed grilled shrimp on a stick for all you seafood lovers.

You can find the location of all these scrumptious delights using the State Fair's Food Finder. Let us know what nutritious fair foods you are trying this week!


May 27

Improving Your Food Environment

Mindless eating may be triggered by a variety of factors, or may be a result of your ? food environment Ł. Review these tips on various situations and strategies to make the environment you are in a healthy one. Improving Your Food Environment

(Photo source www.wholesomeroad.com)

  1. Convenience is Key
    • Prep veggies right when you are home from the grocery store so they are just as easy to grab as a bag of chips
  2. Social Eating
    • Pay attention to the conversations and then take a break to pay attention to your food
  3. Portion Sizes
    • Visual plate rule Ď half of plate made up of fruits and vegetables
  4. Food Conditioning
    • Instead of giving kids a ?treatŁ for a chore, use solutions for ?bribesŁ or rewards such as going to the park or having a friend over
  5. ?See-FoodŁ Diet
    • Out of sight, out of mind
  6. The Forgotten Food
    • Put everything on your plate that you want to eat and don't go for seconds
  7. Surveying the ?Table-ScapeŁ
    • Reduce number of items on your plate at one time, use skinny glasses and smaller plates
  8. Nutritional Gatekeepers
    • Repackage large boxes of food into smaller containers
    • Bring less unwanted food into your home, buy more healthy options
  9. Distracted Eating
    • Don't multi-task
  10. Eating Out
    • Try ordering half an entrÚe or share with a friend
  11. Fast Eating
    • Slow down, give your body time to decide when it is full
What will you do this week to change your food environment? Twitter: #mindless eating #mindful #food environment

Mar 10

Healthy Fats You Should Be Eating

It is common belief that eating too much fat leads to unwanted body-fat and weight gain. Research studies show that eating fat is essential for regulating body temperature and protecting your organs, as well as for satisfying our taste buds and hunger. Fats are frequently classified the same way as cholesterol; ?goodŁ and ?badŁ. ?BadŁ fats are typically identified as ?saturatedŁ or ?transŁ fats on food labels, and many times come from animal sources. ?GoodŁ fats generally come from plants and are unsaturated. Below are examples of foods you can add into your diet this month to increase your healthy fat intake. We have also added a delicious Avocado Hummus recipe incorporating some of these healthy fats. Healthy Fats:
  • Fatty fish
  • Flaxseed and chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Canola oil
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Avocado
Avocado Hummus Ingredients:
  • 1 (15 oz) can chick peas, well drained
  • 2 medium ripe avocados, cored and peeled (13 oz before cored and peeled)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro leaves, for topping
  • Red pepper flakes, for topping
Untitled 1Untitled 2 (Photo source: cookingclassy.com) Directions:
  • Pulse chick peas, olive oil, tahini, lime juice, and garlic in a food processor until smooth, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I did a scant 1/2 tsp salt and about 1/8 tsp pepper), add cumin and avocados and pulse mixture until smooth and creamy, about 1 - 2 minutes longer
  • Serve topped with more olive oil if desired and sprinkle with cilantro and red pepper flakes. Serve with pita chips, carrots, celery, etc.
(Recipe source: cookingclassy.com) Post a picture of the meal that you integrate healthy fats in this week and include the hashtags #healthyfats and #nnm2015!

Feb 16

Happy National Almond Day!

National Almond Day is February 16th. almonds (Photo source: antpkr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Besides being good for your heart, waistline and skin, a new study just published in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that snacking on 1.5 oz of almonds every day versus a muffin with the same number of calories not only reduced LDL cholesterol, but also reduced abdominal (belly) fat and waist circumference. To learn about the history of almonds or other ways almonds can benefit your health, visit NationalAlmondDay.com. What's your favorite type or flavor of almonds? Tell us in the comments section below!

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