5 Reasons to Drink More Tea

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As a teenager, I hated the taste of coffee. I could never understand how my parents had to have a cup each and every morning. When I went away to college I did most of my studies at little independent coffee shops just off campus rather than in the cramped library. I still remember the day I ordered my first latte. Maybe coffee wasn’t so bad after all.

Although I started ordering a small coffee most days, it wasn’t until I moved to New York City that I transformed into a true coffee addict. Coffee became the only thing that seemed to get me through the long 12-16 hour days as a Wall Street financial analyst.

I ‘d pick up my first cup going to the office—usually a latte with three shots of espresso. My next was in the late morning when someone from the office would inevitable do a quick coffee run. Then as the caffeine wore off another run to the local coffee shop would take place mid-afternoon. There were even times that an early evening trip for one last coffee would occur. I couldn’t seem to get through the day without 6 to 10 shots of espresso.

It wasn’t until I started having trouble viewing my computer screen that I realized I had a problem. My eye doctor, after confirming I had 20/20 vision, suggested I back off the caffeine. Instead of backing off slowly, I went cold turkey. Although going cold turkey may not have been the smartest thing—I experienced severe headaches, nausea and had trouble sleeping—within a week I no longer had any blurred vision.

Although I have an occasional almond milk latte, I never went back to my old coffee addict habits. These days you’re more likely to see me with a hot cup of tea than coffee.

Tea gives just the right boost to my morning without making me jittery. The right tea can also be the perfect way to end my day and prepare me for a good night’s sleep.

Here are 5 reasons to drink more tea:

1) Tea is loaded with antioxidants and phytochemicals that are known to help fight free radicals, which may reduce the risk of certain cancers.

2) Tea drinking may help keep your arteries clog-free, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

3) Tea is not only good for your bones—green tea has been shown to improve bone mineral density—but it may also help strengthen your immune system.

4) Tea may help prevent wrinkles, making you look and feel better.

5) Tea may help promote weight loss and it may also ward off cravings and help you make better food choices.

So enjoy a cup of tea today!

Other fun tea facts:

  • Tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis—the tea plant
  • There are three main types of tea: Black, Oolong and Green
  • Green tea has the most antioxidants of any tea
  • Herbal teas are not considered “real” tea as they do not come from the tea plant but rather from flowers, stems, roots or parts of other plants
  • Placing moist tea bags over your eyes can help reduce eye puffiness
  • Americans drink nearly 1 ½ million pounds of tea a day
  • An American, Thomas Sullivan, invented the tea bag which has become the most popular way to drink tea

5 Tips to Enjoy The Holidays without Guilt

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If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight over the holidays, indulging in your favorite not-so-healthy foods cannot only sabotage your weight goals, but can also leave you riddled with guilt. If you’re like me, the holidays bring some of your favorite indulgences—cookies, cakes, pies and chocolate.

Follow these 5 simple tips to enjoy the holidays with guilt.

1. Indulge in Moderation

Allowing yourself to indulge without guilt on not-so-healthy foods only works if done in moderation. If you know you are going to indulge at the company holiday party or your friend’s Christmas party, go ahead and enjoy some of your favorite not-so-healthy foods, but try and keep the rest of your meals that day healthy.

2. Be Mindful

When you decide to indulge, make sure you’re enjoying your special treat. So many of us eat unconsciously and therefore don’t even enjoy or taste our food. Go ahead and have a treat but slow down and taste, savor and enjoy every bite.

3. Indulge Only in the Best

Are you eating the stale cookies your kids brought home from their classroom holiday party? Did you eat that peppermint cake even though you would have preferred chocolate? I find that if I indulge with something that is only slightly satisfying, my craving never goes away but if I select only my favorites, even just a small taste can satisfy me.

4. Say  “No Thank You”

When you’re at a party it easy to feel like you have to try everything. It can be especially difficult to turn down food when the host of the party is offering it to you. Remember that it’s okay to say “no thank you.”

5. Drink More Water

Staying well hydrated is the best way I know to curb my cravings. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger making you eat more. Drink water throughout the day and try having a sparkling water between each alcoholic drink when at a party.

Follow these five simple tips for a guilt free holiday. Remember, you can have your cake and eat it too, just as long as you do so in moderation.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Dusted Truffles

Chocolate Coconut Balls Close2
My kids were invited to a holiday cookie exchange party. Although they want to decorate 2 dozen sugar cookies with the quintessential red and green icing and holiday sprinkles, I thought I’d also bring a batch of dark chocolate coconut dusted truffles as they are always a big hit with both the kids and the adults.

This specific recipe is wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free (and raw)!

Depending on how many cookies you plan to make, you can use a full size food processor or a mini food processor. I made just a dozen balls so I used my mini.

How something so simple—just three ingredients and no cooking—can taste so good is a pretty surprising.

chocolate cononut balls super super close copy

I promise these will be a huge hit at your next party!

Dark Chocolate Coconut Dusted Truffles
Servings
12
Servings
12
Dark Chocolate Coconut Dusted Truffles
Servings
12
Servings
12
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine dates and dark chocolate and pulse until combined and clumping together.
  2. Roll into 12 equal size balls.
  3. Place shredded coconut into a small to medium bowl and roll balls around in coconut until lightly coated.
  4. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Anytime I can make a big pot of soup and have it for a couple days, I’m thrilled. Quick and simple dishes are what work best for me these days and this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup is just that.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup 1 Edit

Although you can substitute white or brown rice in the recipe, the wild rice give the soup a rustic and nutty flavor that really sets it apart from other chicken and rice soups.

1 cup wild riceAlthough the stars of this soup are the chicken and the rice, I love that this recipe is also packed with fresh vegetables like celery, tomatoes, onion, carrots and spinach.

Chicken and wild rice soup ingredients

By using a store bought rotisserie chicken I save loads of time and can still make a protein packed meal.

Most soups feel more like a starter than a main meal but this one definitely makes a hearty main course.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup spoons edit

If you like this Chicken and Wild Rice soup recipe, you should also check out the Chicken Meatball Noodle soup in my new cookbook, The Healthy You Diet. I’m not sure if it was the meatballs or just the overall flavor of the soup, but it quickly became one of my husbands all time favorites.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Servings
6
Servings
6
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent. Add broth, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, reserved rice, chicken, and spinach and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is warmed through.
  3. Remove thyme sprigs. Top with parsley and serve.
  4. Note: The soup is dairy-free but if you’re not concerned with it being so, you can add some fresh grated Parmesan to the top before serving.
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Triple Chocolate Brownies

I know it’s late afternoon but I just found out that it’s National Brownie Day. As a self-proclaimed chocoholic, you think I would know about this special day. I’m actually embarrassed that I didn’t have a clue. Honestly, I didn’t even know the day existed. Going forward, I will always remember that December 8th is brownie day!

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To celebrate, I thought I would share the wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free triple chocolate brownie recipe from my new cookbook, The Healthy You Diet. The cookbook includes more than 100 delicious recipes for clean eating. The book comes out December 23rd but you can pre-order or find out more here: http://amzn.to/X2ns2Q

HYD_Final Cover_Approved

Now back to the brownies…these brownies get their triple chocolaty goodness from unsweetened cocoa, dark chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate. They are moist, rich and chewy but they’re also much healthier than your average brownie so you can indulge without the guilt.

Here’s a peak at the Healthy You Diet brownie recipe photo in the making. It was so fun to see all the recipes come to life. Not to mention that the whole team got to sample almost every recipe. All the recipes were a big hit, but the healthy desserts, including these triple chocolate brownies, didn’t last more than a few seconds after we got the perfect photo.

Brownie Photo shoot

Make these brownies for the holidays and everyone will thank you.

Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Brownies
Servings
12
Servings
12
Triple Chocolate Brownies
Servings
12
Servings
12
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8" × 8" baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and water, stir well, and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Whisk until well mixed.
  4. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the oil, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, and the chopped chocolate, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the honey and vanilla. Add the reserved flax mixture and whisk to mix thoroughly. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄4 cup chocolate chips. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out slightly sticky. Cool in the pan on a rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
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The Healthy You Diet Giveaway – Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

HYD_Final Cover_ApprovedEnter to win a signed copy of The Healthy You Diet by Dawna Stone.

The Healthy You Diet is a twofold volume that starts with a 14-day plan that gradually (and easily!) helps readers kick sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, red meat, and alcohol to the curb. The first week (the Elimination Phase) focuses on eliminating the 7 items from your diet and in the second week (the Clean Phase), Dawna guides readers through a diet free of these foods in order to focus on nourishment and rejuvenation of the body. This Clean Phase will lead to successful and sustained weight loss and a resurgence of energy that keeps Dawna’s fans coming back for more long after they’ve achieved their weight-loss goals.

Dawna provides more than 100 deliciously motivating recipes to keep the weight off in a healthy way. This book is everything fans need to jumpstart clean habits for life!

Complete the form below for your chance to win a copy of The Healthy You Diet. Winner will be selected on January 1st and will be notified by phone or email.

Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine - Healthy You Diet Giveaway

The Healthy You Diet Giveaway – St. Petersburg Chamber

HYD_Final Cover_ApprovedEnter to win a signed copy of The Healthy You Diet by Dawna Stone.

The Healthy You Diet is a twofold volume that starts with a 14-day plan that gradually (and easily!) helps readers kick sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, red meat, and alcohol to the curb. The first week (the Elimination Phase) focuses on eliminating the 7 items from your diet and in the second week (the Clean Phase), Dawna guides readers through a diet free of these foods in order to focus on nourishment and rejuvenation of the body. This Clean Phase will lead to successful and sustained weight loss and a resurgence of energy that keeps Dawna’s fans coming back for more long after they’ve achieved their weight-loss goals.

Dawna provides more than 100 deliciously motivating recipes to keep the weight off in a healthy way. This book is everything fans need to jumpstart clean habits for life!

Complete the form below for your chance to win a copy of The Healthy You Diet. Winner will be selected on January 1st and will be notified by phone or email.

St. Petersburg Chamber - Healthy You Diet Giveaway

Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry

I love the fresh flavors that come together in this stir-fry and I love that it is loaded with vegetables. I still haven’t found a better way to get my husband and kids to eat their veggies.

Snowpeas and carrots

You can make the dish in a skillet or a wok. I typically use my wok for all stir-fry recipes but this time I used my new skillet and it worked better than I expected. Now I’m torn for what to do in the future.

skillet

I used cabbage, carrots and snow peas in the recipe but the beauty of stir-fry is that you can substitute nearly any vegetable for another. Use your imagination and become inventive. You’ll be amazed at how many unique recipes you can make by simply changing up the vegetables. Try red peppers, broccoli and spinach or bean sprouts, celery and yellow peppers. There’s no end to the combinations you can come up with. I found that if I let my kids chose the vegetables, they are even more excited about the final dish.

shrimp 2 photos

I like to prep all my ingredients before I get started. I cook the shrimp first and set it aside. It won’t be completely cooked, but don’t worry, it’s going back into the stir-fry and will cook for an additional few minutes until done.

Veg in pot

I just love how vibrant and fresh the veggies in this dish look. Not only does it taste great, but it makes me feel good about what I’m eating.

Olive oil is my go-to oil for nearly every recipe but I think sesame oil is the only way to go for stir-fry. The sesame oil gives the dish an authentic flavor making it feel like I could have ordered it at a 5 star restaurant.

For a little extra health kick, I like to use protein-packed quinoa instead of white or brown rice but use whatever base you prefer – just remember brown rice is always better than white but it takes nearly twice as long to prepare so plan ahead whenever a recipe calls for brown rice.

Shirmp and Snow Peas 2 Bowls

Wow the whole family with this shrimp and snow pea dish. Let me know what you think.

Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
Servings
4
Servings
4
Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, cornstarch, tamari, and vegetable stock and mix well. Set aside.
  2. To make the quinoa: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Set aside, covered, to steam for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  3. To make the stir-fry: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and swirl the pan to coat. Cook shrimp for 1 minute on each side (shrimp will not be completely done). Remove shrimp and set aside. Add onions and garlic to the pan stirring consistently for 1 to 2 minutes. Add cabbage, carrots, and snow peas, and pour on reserved sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add ginger and shrimp and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp is done.
  4. Fluff the reserved quinoa with a fork and divide it among 4 plates. Spoon the stir-fry mixture over the quinoa and serve.
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The Healthy You Diet Giveaway – Sole Sports

HYD_Final Cover_ApprovedEnter to win a signed copy of The Healthy You Diet by Dawna Stone.

The Healthy You Diet is a twofold volume that starts with a 14-day plan that gradually (and easily!) helps readers kick sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, red meat, and alcohol to the curb. The first week (the Elimination Phase) focuses on eliminating the 7 items from your diet and in the second week (the Clean Phase), Dawna guides readers through a diet free of these foods in order to focus on nourishment and rejuvenation of the body. This Clean Phase will lead to successful and sustained weight loss and a resurgence of energy that keeps Dawna’s fans coming back for more long after they’ve achieved their weight-loss goals.

Dawna provides more than 100 deliciously motivating recipes to keep the weight off in a healthy way. This book is everything fans need to jumpstart clean habits for life!

Complete the form below for your chance to win a copy of The Healthy You Diet. Winner will be selected on January 1st and will be notified by phone or email.

Sole Sports - Healthy You Diet Giveaway

The Healthy You Diet Giveaway – Working Women of Tampa Bay

HYD_Final Cover_ApprovedEnter to win a signed copy of The Healthy You Diet by Dawna Stone.

The Healthy You Diet is a twofold volume that starts with a 14-day plan that gradually (and easily!) helps readers kick sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, red meat, and alcohol to the curb. The first week (the Elimination Phase) focuses on eliminating the 7 items from your diet and in the second week (the Clean Phase), Dawna guides readers through a diet free of these foods in order to focus on nourishment and rejuvenation of the body. This Clean Phase will lead to successful and sustained weight loss and a resurgence of energy that keeps Dawna’s fans coming back for more long after they’ve achieved their weight-loss goals.

Dawna provides more than 100 deliciously motivating recipes to keep the weight off in a healthy way. This book is everything fans need to jumpstart clean habits for life!

Complete the form below for your chance to win a copy of The Healthy You Diet. Winner will be selected on January 1st and will be notified by phone or email.

Working Women of Tampa Bay - Healthy You Diet Giveaway