Wednesday, May 30, 2018


It's no secret that advertisers know how to market a product.  But did you know their label "claims" might be deceiving you?   That's because terms like fat free or all natural are often stamped on foods that are not even healthy at all.  

Check out these 10 misleading claims most often used by manufactures to sell their product, and deceive the consumer.

#1 ALL NATURAL -  Foods labeled “all natural” cannot contain added colors, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. However, a food labeled “all natural” may contain preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, or be injected with sodium. 

#2 NO SUGAR ADDED - Keep in mind that no sugar added foods likely still contain sugar. Most foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk, and grains, naturally contain sugar. While it is good that no additional sugar has been added, it is important to remember that “no sugar added” does not mean the product has no sugar. 

#3 SUGAR FREE -  Sugar free does not mean a product has fewer calories than its full-sugar counterpart. It may, in fact, have more calories. Sugar-free products often contain more fat to compensate for the taste and texture that is lost when the sugar content is reduced.

#4 ZERO TRANS-FAT - Products that claim zero trans-fat can actually contain up to .5 grams per serving. If you eat more than one serving, this small amount can add up. Check for words on the ingredient list such as hydrogenated oil, partially hydrogenated oil, and shortening, which indicate that trans fat is still present. ↓↓↓↓↓

#5 FAT FREE - Just like “sugar free” claims, “fat free” claims do not mean that that the product is low calorie. These products likely contain extra sugar to compensate for the reduced fat content. 

#6 LIGHT - Although “light” may make you think that the food is lower calorie, it can actually refer to the flavor rather than the nutritional content. For example, light olive oil means the flavor is mild, not that the calorie content is any lower than regular olive oil. 

#7 GLUTEN FREE - Gluten is a protein found in grains that can be harmful to people with gluten allergies or celiac disease. The increasing availability of gluten-free foods is great for people who have problems digesting gluten, but the labeling may be a little confusing. Gluten free does not mean the product is whole grain, contains more fiber, or has fewer carbohydrates. Gluten-free products are for people who need them, they will not help you lose weight and they are not necessarily good for you.

#8 MADE WITH REAL FRUIT -  Products that claim to be made from real fruit may not contain very much fruit at all, or none of the type pictured on the box. Food manufacturers do not need to list the percentage of fruit, so a product claiming “made with real fruit” can contain 100% fruit or 1% fruit.

#9 LIGHTLY SWEETENED - Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has definitions for reduced sugar, no added sugar, and sugar free, “lightly sweetened” has no regulations associated with it. Therefore, you cannot be sure how much sugar the product actually contains by looking at the packaging; you must read the nutrition facts label. 

#10 CATCHY CLAIMS - Food labels often make claims about the benefits of their brand, like “cholesterol free” and “fat free” that can be misleading on certain products. For example, a brand of vegetable oil claiming to be “cholesterol free” may seem healthier than the other vegetable oil brands, but since vegetable oil is a plant product, it does not naturally contain cholesterol, so all the vegetable oil brands are cholesterol free. Likewise, fruit juice brands claiming to be “fat free” are not healthier because fruit juice is naturally fat free. 

Be wary of claims like these on food labels and make sure to do a “common sense” check before making your selection. 

The best way to get the truth about a product is to read the Nutrition Facts label (for label reading tips CLICK HERE ).  ♥

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Pancake and Waffle Mix recipe

Breakfast for dinner is always a hit at my house, especially on a busy night! Here is a quick and easy recipe for pancake and waffle mix. Keep it in your pantry for quick pancakes and waffles anytime!

Yield: 1 jar of Pancake Mix yields 4 batches of pancakes; 1 batch of pancakes yields two dozen 3- to 4-inch pancakes (6 to 8 servings).
  • For the dry mix:
  • 12 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • For one batch of pancakes (14-16 pancakes)
  • 3 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Pancake Mix (above)
  • 3 cups buttermilk 
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For one batch of waffles (10-12 waffles)
  • 3 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Pancake Mix (above)
  • 2 3/4 cups buttermilk 
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Mix:
Wisk together all of the dry ingredients. Store in a sealable container in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
For the Pancakes:
  1. Measure buttermilk into a large measuring cup (4-cup capacity) or medium bowl. Whisk in eggs, melted butter, and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Measure 3 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Pancake Mix into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Stir gently until just combined, taking care not to overmix. A few lumps and streaks of flour should remain.
  3. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is heated, add a small piece of butter and swirl to coat the pan. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to pour circles of batter onto the skillet. Cook until the underside of each pancake is golden brown and bubbles begin to form on top. Flip pancakes and cook for another minute or two until the second sides are golden brown. Serve immediately with yogurt and fresh fruit!
***If you don't have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by pouring 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (or white vinegar) into a 3-cup liquid measuring cup. Fill the remainder of the measuring cup (up to the 3-cup line) with milk. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding with recipe.
For the Waffles: Preheat your waffle iron. Prepare the batter as you would for the pancakes — no need to rest for waffle batter. Cook waffles according to the manufacturer's instructions for the waffle iron. Coat waffle iron with butter, oil, or nonstick spray as necessary.


Cut once, cook twice: If you know you’ll be using onion three nights this week, chop enough onion for all three meals, then it’s ready when you need it later in the week. 

Shred cheese yourself all at once: Since it’s more cost efficient to buy cheese in a block and shred it yourself than buying it preshredded, shred the whole block and put it in a zip storage bag in the refrigerator or freezer. 

Store oils in a squeeze bottle: Olive oil or other oils stored in a squeeze bottle keep the oils handy for use and the dribbles down the side to a minimum.

Hamburger patties: Form a nice-sized roll of ground beef, wrap and freeze. Once frozen, slice for patties. Works like a charm for perfectly formed patties.

Make your own mixes: Recipes abound for all kinds of time-saving mixes. Devoting one day a month to making mixes will save you lots of time in meal preparation. For mix recipes click HERE !

Friday, May 18, 2018


Image result for mango health benefits

It's no secret that mangos are the king of fruit.  Loaded with tangy flavor these fruits are one of the most nutrient dense of the tropical fruit family.  Packed with nutrients like antioxidants, Vitamin A, C and dietary fiber.  Aside from having over 20 different vitamins and minerals mangos contain other nutrients which prevent chronic diseases including certain types of cancers.  Mangos provide significant health benefits for your body.

The best way to choose a mango at the store is not so much color, but more in the firmness.  If it feels "squishy" it is over ripe.  Push gently on the skin and it should give slightly.  If unripe leave at room temperature (not the refrigerator) so it can become riper and sweeter.  
***TIP: to speed up the ripening process place in a brown paper bag for a few days, checking regularly.

Here's a mango recipe that'll spice up your family's Taco Tuesday!  Ingredients are now on sale through May 22 at our local markets. :) 

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 TBL finely chopped red onion
1/2 Jalapeno chile, seeds removed and minced (less or more to taste)
3 TBL fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 TBL fresh lime juice
1 medium avocado (optional)

Put the diced mango, red onion, jalapeno and cilantro in a medium bowl.  Toss with lime juice.  If salsa is too acidic for your liking stir in some diced avocado.

Serve atop fish, steak, tacos or tortilla chips!  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber!  Diets high in fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases.  Adding veggies to a dish provides more volume, nutrients and fiber without adding many calories.  Take advantage of any opportunity to incorporate veggies into any meal. :) 

1. Discover fast ways to cook
Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick-and-easy side dish. Steam green beans, carrots, or corn in a bowl with a small amount of water in the microwave.
2. Be ahead of the game
Cut up a batch of bell peppers, cauliflower, or broccoli. Pre-package them to use when time is limited. Enjoy them in a casserole, stir-fry, or as a snack with hummus.

3. Choose vegetables rich in color
Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange, or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, or collard greens. They not only taste great but are good for you, too.
4. Check the freezer aisle
Frozen vegetables are quick and easy to use and are just as nutritious as fresh veggies. Try adding frozen vegetables, such as corn, peas, edamame, or spinach, to your favorite dish. Look for frozen vegetables without added sauces, gravies, butter, or cream.
5. Stock up on veggies
Canned vegetables are a great addition to any meal, so keep on hand canned tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, mushrooms, and beets. Select those labeled as “reduced sodium,” “low sodium,” or “no salt added.”

6. Make your garden salad glow with color
Brighten your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans or avocados, sliced red bell peppers or onions, shredded radishes or carrots, and chopped red cabbage or watercress. Your salad will not only look good but taste good, too.
7. Sip on some vegetable soup
Heat it and eat it. Try tomato, butternut squash, or garden vegetable soup. Look for reduced- or low-sodium soups. Make your own soups with a low-sodium broth and your favorite vegetables.
8. While you’re out
If dinner is away from home, no need to worry. When ordering, ask for an extra side of vegetables or a side salad instead of the typical fried side dish. Ask for toppings and dressings on the side.

9. Savor the flavor of seasonal vegetables
Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at a lower cost. Check your local supermarket specials for the best in-season buys. Or visit your local farmers market.
10. Vary your veggies
Choose a new vegetable that you’ve never tried before. Find recipes online at

Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Revised October 2016.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Mother's day is just around the corner.  Show your love and appreciation for your mom with this healthy nutritious AND delicious breakfast Sunday morning.

whole wheat crepes recipe on 100 Days of #RealFood

3 Eggs
1 cup Whole-Wheat Flour
1 cup Low-fat Milk
3/4 cup Water
1 TBL Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Salt

Cooking Spray
Desired filling - (recommended; low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit)

1. Put all 7 ingredients into a blender and pulse until creamy and smooth.
2. Spray small fry pan with cooking spray and heat on medium-high heat.
3. Angle pan and pour approx. 1/4 cup batter on one side to thinly and evenly cover the pan.  Very quickly swirl the batter around to cover the pan in one thin layer.
4. After about 1 min (when edges are peeling back), carefully flip over and fry other side for 1 more minute until golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool. (SPRAY PAN between each crepe to prevent sticking)
5. Fill with fresh fruit and low-fat plain yogurt. Roll up and enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2018


CINCO DE MAYO done right!


Tuesday, May 1, 2018



Do all cutting at one time: If you know you’ll beusing onion three nights this week, chop enough onion for all three meals, then it’s ready when you need it later in the week.

Slicing meat thinIf you need really thin sliced meat when cooking stir-fry recipes or other dishes, try partially freezing the meat before making your cuts. This will make the meat easier to slice very thin since it will hold firm while slicing.

Shred cheese yourself all at onceSince it’s morecost efficient to buy cheese in a block and shred it yourself than buying it preshredded, shred the whole block and put it in a zip storage bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

Freeze cookie dough: Try preparing a few batches of cookie dough at once and freezing the extra thatyou won’t be baking that day. You can roll thedough in logs first before freezing (wrap the dough really well) and then just slice off and bake.

Brown ground beef: Crumble 3-4 pounds of ground beef on a jelly roll pan. Season to your preference. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Drain with a turkey baster if meat juices are high.