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Food

Cristie Besu
Food

'Tis The Season. 4 Tips on Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays are upon us and even though they might look a bit different this year, the fact is, the holidays tend to be a time when people start to slack off on their healthy eating habits. We are all for everything in moderation and a ’treat yo self’ mentality, but there are ways to be mindful about indulging. That one cocktail (or two) here, the extra slice of pie here, the missed workout, all can play into holiday weight gain. 

We turned to Cristie Besu, Founder of Eat Me Guilt Free and Certified Sports Nutritionist who shares her tips on how to still take part in your favorite holiday treats yet stay the course over the next few months. 

Tip #1

Find and use “better for you” versions of your favorite foods.  Stuffing is a common holiday favorite and you can make a high protein, low carb version that is still delicious and satisfying using Eat Me Guilt Free Protein Bread (check out Eat Me Guilt Free's recommended stuffing recipe here)

Tip #2 

As we increase our calories and the pandemic continues to keep us distant for our close friends and family, it is a good time to organize #wfh workouts that are outdoors with them. It helps us stay close to those we want to see over the holidays without engaging in indoor activities that are more difficult to distance yourself socially at.  AND you burn off all the extra calories you are consuming. 

Tip #3

Indulge in holiday wine spritzers vs wine at holiday gatherings.  You use 50% wine and 50% club soda and, voila, your wine now has half of the calories. If you enjoy red wines, pinot noir works well and most whites are a perfect fit. 

Tip #4

Serve your holiday meals with measuring cups vs a large spoon.  Using the 1 cup measuring cup helps keep your portions in check and your calorie intake within what you normally consume.  


The holidays are here and even though they look a bit different this year, the fact is, the holidays tend to be a time when people start to slack off on their healthy eating habits.

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Food

Reach Your Health Goals with Miami-Based RSP Nutrition

Based in Miami, RSP Nutrition has the goal of providing products that are not only made of clean, proven ingredients but are also convenient and effective.

Over the past decade, RSP Nutrition has evolved with the modern consumer, establishing itself as a top brand in both the sports nutrition and health and wellness space. Based right here in Miami, RSP Nutrition has the goal of providing products that are not only made of clean, proven ingredients but are also convenient and effective.

Started in 2008 by former collegiate athlete Victor Davanzo, RSP Nutrition filled a gap in the market for healthy, everyday wellness needs. Prior to launching the company, Davanzo could only find supplements with unnatural or dangerous ingredients. RSP Nutrition aimed to bring clean, nutritional products for active people and fitness enthusiasts while never compromising quality or convenience. Even 10 years ago, Davanzo recognized that people were focusing more on natural food and that performance training was no longer just for athletes.

"RSP products are designed and crafted to be all-in-one solutions to someone's path to physical achievements," said Kevin Escalera, the Digital Marketing Director at RSP Nutrition. "These achievements look different to everyone but RSP's products can improve everyone's performance."

RSP Nutrition has a full line-up of products to meet your needs whether your goal is energy, recovery, building muscle, or just general health and wellness. There is TrueFit, their all-in-one grass-fed protein that includes fruits and veggies, prebiotic fiber, probiotics, and healthy fats, and TrueFit Shake, which is a portable meal replacement. AminoLean is RSP's pre-workout with natural caffeine, zero calories, and zero sugar. (The pink lemonade flavor is delicious!) AvoCollagen combines hydrolyzed collagen peptides with avocado oil. And those are just a few of their best-sellers.

"You'll find that RSP Nutrition products accomplish a multitude of goals for the consumer. The all-in-one benefits are a great way for consumers to save time and pantry space," said Escalera. "For example, with TrueFit alone containing pre and probiotics for gut health, fruits, and vegetables, plus grass-fed protein - the customer is receiving so much more than just protein. The AminoLean pre-workout can be used for anytime energy, weight management, amino acids for muscle recovery, and for a pre-workout boost."

All of their products come with a money-back guarantee and Stay Fit readers can save 15% on your purchase with code STAYFIT15 at RSPNutrition.com. In addition to shopping, their website also has a blog with a variety of recipes using their products. RSP Nutrition products can also be found nationwide at Whole Foods, GNC, and Vitamin Shoppe, among others, as well as on Amazon.

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Food

Enjoy Cookies Baked Better from Jane Bakes

Cookies that are low carb, made with 100% natural ingredients, AND taste amazing? It may sound too good to be true but that’s what you get from Jane Bakes.

Cookies that are low carb, low sugar, made with 100% natural ingredients, AND taste amazing? It may sound too good to be true but that's what you get from Jane Bakes, a woman-owned business founded by Jane Carroll.

A self-made entrepreneur, Carroll was the owner of a successful floral design business before an insane 10 months that changed her life. After a hard turn that included a house fire, a heart attack, and the stock market crash, Carroll decided to pivot and open up a small café. It was there that Carroll found a love for baking and experimenting with healthy recipes, and Jane Bakes was born.

Jane Bakes cookies are a clean treat made up of simple, real ingredients. You won't find artificial flavoring here - Carroll's seven flavors of cookies use real ingredients like crushed hazelnuts and scraped vanilla beans. Real ingredients also means that the cookies are very satisfying for being such a small treat. They are inspired by a French sable cookie, which means they have a unique texture that is soft, crumbly, and melt in your mouth.

Other ingredients include cage-free eggs and non-hormone butter. The cookies are made with 100% whole grain, except for the two gluten-free varieties which are made with almond and coconut flours. They are also made with an all-natural sugar, wheylow, which has 75% less calories and carbs than traditional sugar. Every ingredient contributes to making these cookies a high fiber treat that does not raise your glycemic index.

Each cookie is around 60 calories and with flavors like Double Chocolate, Whiskey & Rye Chocolate Chip, and Vanilla Bean you'll be thankful that you can enjoy them guilt-free. My favorites were Maple Pecan and Raisin Oatmeal, but I also loved the Vanilla Bean because it tasted like shortbread.

While these cookies may not be local to Miami, they are packed in an environmentally-friendly kraft paper sleeve that has a ziplock bag inside to maintain freshness and keep the bakery quality. Jane Bakes makes the small batches of cookies in their New York store and then vacuum seals right before shipping to ensure freshness.

Jane Bakes is currently distributed to over 1,000 stores in and around the northeast. For those of us down south, the cookies are also sold online through their website and available on Amazon Prime! If you want to order your own cookies, you can get a discount on your order by using coupon code insta25 at janebakes.com.

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Food

della bowls Launches Digital Cookbook for Healthy Bowls at Home

della bowls, based in Miami, is bringing their vibrant, plant-based recipes into your home with the launch of their first cookbook.

della bowls, based in Miami, is bringing their vibrant, plant-based recipes into your home with the launch of their first cookbook.

After the COVID pandemic forced them to change their plans for a grand opening at The Doral Yard, the team pivoted to focus on connecting with the della bowls community digitally through virtual cooking classes and their new digital cookbook.

della bowls’ core mission is to make healthy food delicious, affordable, and easily accessible. Now their recipes are in an easy-to-follow format, using simple ingredients that you can find almost anywhere. With the della bowls cookbook, you will be layering new textures and flavors and building your own bowls.

RELATED 3 Tips to Help You Break Into a Healthy Eating Lifestyle without Breaking the Bank

All della bowls generally follow the magic number 5 to make what they call ‘healthy bowls of happy.’ The 5 components of every bowl are base + protein + veggies + sauce + boost. ⁠ The globally-inspired bowls in their cookbook include five house favorite bowls, like the Dalé Bowl, stacked with vibrant layers of brown rice, refried black beans, cashew queso, pico de gallo, panelle, and Verde Sauce, and the Caribbean Bowl, packed with marinated kale, coconut black forbidden rice, toasted coconut, plantains, avocado, and Yellow Sauce.

The della bowls team has compiled recipes for all lifestyles, occasions, and paletes. In their cookbook you will get:

  • recipes from their current della bowls menu
  • new recipes
  • old favorites
  • suggested bowl combinations
  • cooking tips and tools

⁠We loved the sweet potato hummus for snacking, and the della bites for a quick boost of energy. Whether you prefer to meal prep, or cook meals on the fly, all of the recipes are simple and easy to prepare.

The digital cookbook is now for sale on their website and on Amazon for $9.99.

della bowls is also currently delivering via Door Dash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates in Miami 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 2:00 am. Please visit our website dellabowls.com for more information, or on Instagram at @dellabowls.

Food

Aldi Plans South Florida Expansion, Starting With New Sunrise Location

Aldi recently opened its newest Florida store on Oakland Park Boulevard in Sunrise. This new location is one of a growing list of South Florida locations.

Aldi recently opened its newest Florida store on Oakland Park Boulevard in Sunrise. This new location is one of a growing list of South Florida locations since the grocer first arrived in the state in 2008.

In the past decade, Aldi has expanded its footprint to more than 150 stores statewide and there are currently 39 Aldi stores in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties.

Nationwide, Aldi is on pace to become the nation's third-largest "value" retail grocer, operating more than 2,000 stores in 36 states. Aldi recently invested more than $5 billion in a multiyear initiative to open hundreds of new locations.

"As we continue to expand, we promise to do everything in our power to offer the lowest prices, every day, without exception," Jason Hart, CEO of Aldi U.S., said in a press release. "In fact, as food costs continue to rise across the country, we're lowering prices on hundreds of items to meet our customers' increased need for savings."

The grocer's no-frills approach to shopping keeps overhead low. That also means Aldi doesn’t offer bags at checkout, so make sure to bring your totes. And bring change to rent a shopping cart for a quarter as well. (You get your quarter back when you return the cart.)

According to Chris Hewitt, vice president of Aldi's Royal Palm Beach division, the Florida expansion goes hand in hand with the company's push to increase its fresh-food selection by 40 percent over the past few years.

"Offering the best products at affordable prices is something that never goes out of style," says Hewitt. "We look forward to offering Florida customers more as we grow the Aldi footprint over the coming years."

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Food

FitLife Foods Reopened Its Plantation Location This Week

FitLife Foods, a meal prep company, reopening their Plantation location for business Monday after being closed for 13 months.

FitLife Foods Plantation reopened for business Monday after being closed for 13 months.

FitLife Foods is a meal prep company with in-store pickup and delivery, offering pre-made healthy meals and snacks, and health and wellness training. They have locations throughout Florida, including in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.

On July 6, 2019, a gas explosion tore apart the plaza in Plantation where one of their stores was located. The blast was so powerful it leveled the restaurant and caused massive structural damage to everything else around it, forcing them to rebuild.

As part of the renovation, the Plantation location is now updated with a new look that FitLife is testing in different markets.

Fitlife Foods was the first business to re-open out of the 30+ businesses impacted by the blast.

"We hope that this location becomes a symbol for our company, our team, the Plantation community, and our customers," said Founder and CEO David Osterweil. "If there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this, it’s that 'It doesn’t matter what happens to you. It only matters how you react.'"

Follow their stories this week on Instagram @fitlifefoods to see their daily grand reopening giveaways.

Food

Five "Healthy" Food Labels You Can Ignore at the Store

Food labels are often marketing tactics. Here are five food labels that might sound healthy, but actually have a different meaning when grocery shopping.

While healthy eating is a goal for many Americans, it can be hard to know exactly what this entails. Supermarkets are full of foods with labels promising "clean" this, or "healthy" that', creating a minefield of messaging that can be difficult to maneuver.

Oftentimes food labels are nothing more than marketing tactics designed to convince consumers the product is healthy, or at least, better than the alternative. But a closer look shows than many of these labels really don’t mean much at all. Here are 5 food labels that might sound healthy, but actually have a different meaning when grocery shopping.

Part of a Healthy/Complete/Nourishing Breakfast

Some variation of this slogan is a common fixture on the packaging of children's cereals and other processed foods, along with an illustration of whatever said food may be, and a piece of fruit, a glass of water, and maybe a side of protein. Here’s the thing: if the product in question is in fact part of a healthy breakfast, it may not be the “healthy” part. Next.

Cage-Free

According to USDA Guidelines, eggs “labeled as cage-free must be produced by hens housed in a building, room, or enclosed area that allows for unlimited access to food, water, and provides the freedom to roam within the area during the laying cycle.” So, quite literally, they cannot be kept in cages. However, considering the guideline doesn’t specify how much space each chicken can get and allows for “cage-free” hens to be kept fully indoors, it doesn’t really mean anything at all.

A similar offender is “free-range,” which requires hens to have continuous access to outdoor space but does not specify how much space. While eggs may be a great source of nutrients, their labels are often nothing more than marketing wordplay.

Hormone Free/ No Hormones Added

This label, commonly found on just about every chicken and pork product in the grocery store, needs to be read a little closer. According to the USDA, “hormones are not allowed in raising hogs or poultry.” So, pretty much all of it is hormone-free, and the per regulation the small print below this pointless claim likely says something along the lines of, “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones." So, while this claim is true, it is utterly unimpressive.

Low Fat/Reduced Fat/No Fat

To be fair, these products likely are lower in fat than their full-fat alternatives, but why remove the fat in the first place? The Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) recommended by the US government for fat is 20%-35% of daily calories for adults over 18. Though not all sources of fat are nutritious, a healthy adult that isn’t adhering to a particular diet doesn’t need to worry about axing this macro completely; on the contrary, fat is officially recognized as an important part of a balanced diet. While the processed food this label is slapped on may indeed be unhealthy, taking the fat out of it probably doesn’t make it any better. It might even make you think, “What are they replacing the fat with?”

Vegan

If something is vegan, it simply does not contain animal products. While this label is very useful for individuals whose goal is to avoid eating such products, it does not in any way determine the nutritional value of the food and should not be read as “healthy.” Case study: Oreos are vegan.

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Food

Find Your Healthy Vibe at Delicious Raw in Miami Beach

Located in Miami Beach, Delicious Raw has a diverse menu of items made in house, ranging from juices and smoothies, to full meals.

Experience delicious, plant-based, scratch-made food at Delicious Raw Kitchen and Juice Bar in Miami Beach. Located in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, Delicious Raw has a diverse menu of items made in house, ranging from juices and smoothies, to meals like their fan-favorite vegan Nobl veggie burger.

Delicious Raw has a passion for creating food that tastes good and is good for you. Their plant-based menu is constantly evolving to stay on the cutting edge of healthy cuisine. Additionally, their ingredients are always sourced with quality, freshness, and responsible farming practices in mind.

Some of their signature menu items include the Righteous Waffle, based on energy-sustaining ancient grains, the fusion Buddha Bowl with house-made sweet potato pasta, and the Super-Bowl açai bowl. Raw Delicious also serves up a variety of hot and iced coffee-based beverages, such as the Maca Bullet. Their juices and smoothies are unharmed by oxidation, additives, and preservatives.

For those running in for a quick bite, there are also a variety of grab and go items pre-packaged for convenience. However, with the goal of recharging both your mind and your body, Delicious Raw has a cozy ambiance and both indoor and outdoor seating that encourages you to stay for a while.

Their growing scratch in-house production includes core ingredients such as nut butters, nut milks, and nut flours, superfood pastas made of such vegetables as black bean, sweet potato, and turmeric pepper, gluten-free and vegan baked goods, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, vegan yogurts, dressings, and jams.

Delicious Raw was launched in 2013 in Naples and has since expanded to South Florida. In addition to their location in Miami Beach, you can also visit their restaurant in Davie.

Check them out in Miami Beach from 7am – 10pm daily.

Food

All Your Questions About Protein Answered by a Nutritionist

Lisa Dorfman, also known as The Running Nutritionist, chatted with STAY FIT 305 all about sources of protein, when to consume it, and more.

Protein is an essential part of any diet, but even seasoned fitness enthusiasts may still have some questions about this vital macronutrient and the best way to work it into a healthy day of eating. How much do you need, and how much is too much? And, If you’re a vegan, can you get enough?

To answer these questions and more Lisa Dorfman, a board-certified sports and performance nutritionist and author also known as The Running Nutritionist®, chatted with STAY FIT 305 all about sources of protein, when to consume it and how to know how much you need.

A former professional triathlete herself, Dorfman has been in the nutrition industry for over three decades and counseled clients from all walks of life. Olympic, professional, and college athletes have relied on her counsel, and she has served as a celebrity nutritionist for the stars of movies such Gone Girl, Avengers, and Iron Man 3. And, spoiler alert, Dorfman is a vegetarian- so if there’s no meat in your kitchen, you’re definitely in good company.

How much protein do you need...?

Put simply, it depends! The exact amount of protein an active individual needs each day can vary from person to person, but according to Dorfman it can range from 1.2 to 2.4 grams per kilogram of bodyweight (remember: 1 kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.) For reference, an average 150-pound individual should shoot for at least 80 grams every day.

...And what factors affect this?

A variety of factors affect exactly where you should fall on the scale of how much protein to consume per kilogram of bodyweight. Athletes who perform highly anaerobic activities such as heavy weightlifting, boxing, or sprinting will find that they need more protein each day to help their bodies recover.

“If you're doing a lot of high-intensity work where you’re just ripping apart your muscles,” Dorfman said, “then your needs will most certainly go up.”

Sleep patterns and stress levels can also affect how much protein you need, as “stressing out” or not getting enough sleep can make it difficult for your body to recover from the day. Further, Dorfman says, individuals consuming a lower amount of calories per day need more protein to make up for this deficit.

“The less you eat,” she said, “the more protein you need because then all of a sudden you rely on protein (as opposed to carbohydrates and fat) more as an energy source.”

How should you work protein into your daily diet?

You might want to forgo that 16-ounce steak dinner in favor of a more balanced approach to eating protein over the course of the day, Dorfman says. The best way to go is to eat this macro a few ounces at a time, “little by little,” to ensure your body always has what it needs.

According to Dorfman, chowing down on a protein power snack is especially important after a workout. Shakes, bars, and smoothies, she continued, are all quick and easy ways to get some protein in your system.

What are the best (and worst) sources of protein?

Lean meats and plant-based proteins, Dorfman said, are some of the healthiest sources of protein out there. Lean chicken, turkey, and pork are great, as well as fish and grass-fed beef. Vegan options such as quinoa, peas, whole grains, beans, and more make the cut too. And that whey (or pea) powder sitting in a tub on your counter? A-ok, says Dorfman. In fact, protein powders and bars are great sources of protein when you’re running out of time.

Now, what’s not on the list? First of all, Dorfman suggests saving marbled meat for the holidays. She also warns against vegan products designed to mimic meat and noted that not all foods marketed as “vegan” are actually healthy.

“Some of the vegan burgers out there,” she said, “have more fat than a regular beef burger, or more sodium and saturated fat.”

Finally, she said, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you can see the protein you’re eating. If it’s covered in sauces, oils, or breadcrumbs, it probably isn’t the best option.

Can vegans get enough protein?

Heck yes, Dorfman says. Animal and plant proteins can be equally nutritious, but vegetarians and vegans may need to monitor their intake more closely to ensure they get enough.

“Vegetarians can certainly be healthy,” she said, “if you do it the right way.”

When it comes to whole foods and sources of plant-based protein, she said, vegans and vegetarians have “oodles of variety.”

What are some common misconceptions about protein?

“(A) common misconception,” Dorfman said, “is that you can eat as much as you want and not have repercussions.”

While some individuals need more protein than others, there is such a thing as “too much.” Eating more protein than you need, Dorfman said, can lead athletes to feel “weighed down” or even dehydrated.

A good way to know if you’re getting the right amount of protein, she said, is simply look in the mirror and ask yourself a few questions. How is your muscle tone? Are you catching colds easily, healing extra slowly from injuries? Is your hair falling out, skin clear? If so, you may want to consider adjusting your diet or working with a nutritionist.

“It’s a quality of life evaluation,” she said. If you’re eating well, you’ll probably feel well too.

Food

Try This Easy Balsamic Watermelon Salad Recipe

This summery balsamic watermelon salad is healthy, fresh, and super tasty as a side dish for any barbecue, picnic, or dinner at home.

This summery balsamic watermelon salad is healthy, fresh, and super tasty as a side dish for any barbecue, picnic, or dinner at home. Not to mention it’s insanely easy to make!

Ingredients:

  1. Watermelon, cut into larger than usual slices
  2. Arugula
  3. Balsamic glaze
  4. Crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Like I said, easy to make! Place some arugula on the plate and your watermelon wedge right beside it. Sprinkle feta over the top and drizzle balsamic over it as well. Ta-dah! Enjoy!

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Food

A Gables Staple Offers Healthy Meals With Quality Taste

Gables Juice Bar and Muscle Pizza in Coral Gables is family-owned and has been a healthy food staple for over twenty years.

If you have never tried Gables Juice Bar and Muscle Pizza in Coral Gables, you have truly been missing out. This family-owned, highly-rated healthy restaurant has been in Coral Gables for over twenty years. Offering breakfast and lunch on weekdays, this local stop always has its work crowd and locals lining up at the door, as well as delivery and take-out on the move at all times during operating hours.

The menu does not offer your typical salad options, but pizzas and wraps with a healthy spin to it, allowing you to pick something more satisfying without the guilt trip. The owners describe Gables Juice Bar as the “the art of health and taste”, offering something tasty that can be healthy as well.

Mike, the owner of The Juice Bar, says, "the Tony wrap filled with turkey picadillo, rice, and maduros, and the Back and Forth pizza, a collaborative buffalo chicken pizza with the neighboring men’s boutique, are among the customer favorites."

Gables Juice Bar also introduced an online-only meal prep program offering customizable healthy items for those who are not fans of cooking or have busy schedules and do not have time to meal prep.

This local spot is casual and inviting, with an artistic look to it inside. During other circumstances, the restaurant would fill up with people who would enjoy their lunch breaks at the restaurant before heading back to work. The restaurant has customers that have become regulars over the years, raving about not only the food but how quick and affordable it is. One customer talked about how much he loves the variety of sauces adding to the flavor of the food. Another important factor customers seem to appreciate is its location and parking, it is easy to get to and there is always parking right outside their door. 

Definitely a must-try eatery located in the heart of the Gables, anyone can swing by and get a quick fix that is filling and nutritious. Come by for a ginger shot when feeling under the weather, or a mid-day smoothie when you need something refreshing during these hot summer days. If it is one of those early mornings at the office, go get those guilt-free pancakes or omelets at Gable Juice Bar which opens at 7 AM.

Find their menu online at gablesjuicebar.com or make sure to follow them on Instagram @gablesjuicebar_musclepizza.

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Food

Snack Attack: What To Eat When Hunger Strikes

Try one of these nutritious snack options when hunger strikes without derailing your health and fitness goals.

Sure, it’s easy to grab whatever is in sight when hunger strikes but is derailing your health and fitness goals really worth that bag of chips? We suggest reaching for something nutritious that will fuel you throughout your day. Grab an apple or banana (yeah, we get it, not so exciting) or try one of these snack options that we are stocking our pantry (and gym bag) with.

Kate’s Real Food Bars

Kate’s Real Food Bars

With six delicious options (we tried them all), these natural energy bars, which are certified organic, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and sweetened with organic honey taste great and provide the perfect amount of sustainable, long-lasting energy. These thick, yet chewy granola-like bars are not too sweet, and hit the spot. Our favorite was Stash Peanut Butter Hemp & Flax Seed bar, which is no surprise given our nut addiction. Prefer something even more portable, try their new Snack Bites.

The Paleo Girls Granola

Always looking to support the 305, we are fans of this granola founded by two locals. This grain-free granola is packed with flavor and only natural ingredients including almonds, cashews, shredded coconut, pecans, Brazil nuts, coconut oil, coconut sugar, dates, lemon zest, sea salt. Sprinkle it on top of a smoothie, acai bowl, or just eat it out of the bag. 

PB2

Remember our nut addiction, well, yeah, we weren’t kidding. So much so that we can eat PB2 dry, with a spoon. However, when mixed with water as intended, this peanut butter alternative powder is much tastier. For a smoothie loaded with protein, PB2 Performance Peanut Protein delivers 20g of complete plant-based protein and the subtle Dutch Cocoa flavor option has added prebiotic fiber for digestive health. Or try PB2 Pre+Probiotic, that you can mix into a spread, add to smoothies, baked goods or even us for a healthy Honey Peanut Chicken Satay Recipe.

Biena Snacks

These roasted chickpea snacks deliver a crunch with a punch of protein. Available in a variety of flavors ranging from Sea Salt and Habanero, our go-to is the Honey Roasted, which is the perfect mix of sweet and salty. 

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Food

Aila Will Boost Your Workout, Naturally

Katie Webb developed Aila as a natural, pre-workout energy supplement designed specifically for women.

I didn’t think that I energized before a workout, until I met Aila

A few weeks ago, Katie Webb, the founder of Aila reached out asking if I’d like to review her natural pre-workout energy supplement designed specifically for women. I told her that I don’t usually energize before I exercise, but that I have been looking for something to replace the jitters from my morning (and afternoon) coffee. I was impressed by the natural ingredients on the nutrition label, so decided to give it a shot.

I received several single-serve Aila packets in the mail and simply mixed one in with a large glass of water. I drank my glass of Aila water, which tasted a lot like a mellow cup of matcha, in place of my morning coffee, and sat down to write.

I started typing and found myself so energized (though not jittery) that I literally had to move my body. Thankfully, I’m able to split my days between being physical and sitting at my desk, so I got up, did a high-intensity workout, and felt great.

Later that day, I was still feeling energized. Where I might usually drink 2-3 cups of coffee throughout the day, I felt that one packet of Aila gave me the energy to power through a full day of writing and training. 

Why did it make me feel so magical? Here’s a break down of the natural ingredients that first attracted me to Aila:

  • Matcha Green Tea: Matcha is a natural source of caffeine. Essentially, it’s green tea on steroids. It has many proven health benefits, namely that it contains a ton of antioxidants that protect your body from damaging free radicals. In fact, one study found that matcha contains 137 times greater than the amount of EGCG, a potent antioxidant, than green tea. 
  • Bee Pollen: Research has shown that bee pollen has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  
  • Beet Root Powder: Beet root powder helps your body create nitric oxide, which is a really cool molecule that helps to expand your blood vessels and increase circulation. Eating beet root has been shown to increase some types of athletic performance and also lower blood pressure. 
  • Spirulina: Some argue that spirulina is the most nutrient dense food on the planet. It contains proteins, B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and more. Studies have shown that it may also increase exercise performance. 
  • Stevia Extract: A plant-derived sweetener which the Center for Science in the Public Interest has called safe. 
  • PurCaf®:  PurCaf® is an organic, non-GMO caffeine source derived from green coffee beans that is GRAS (generally recognized as safe) certified.

If you’re thinking that Aila was formulated with a lot of care, you’re right.

"I created Aila after a frustrating search for a pre-workout that worked for me,” says founder Katie Webb. “Most products I tried were high in stimulants and messed with my stomach, or gave me that awful itchy feeling. They also looked really masculine and intense. Our formula is completely unique and was created with women's health and nutrition in mind."

Bottom line: I loved trying Aila and while I may not swap out my morning coffee, I have been convinced that energizing with a high-quality natural supplement pre-workout might be worth my while. 

Disclosure: I received Alia in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Food

Easy Low-Calorie Margarita Recipe for Hot Summer Days

Impress friends and family alike by making your own delicious, low-calorie margarita at home with just a few simple ingredients.

Everyone loves a nice, cold margarita on a hot summer day, but do yourself (and your waistline) a favor and skip the pre-batch this year. Impress friends and family alike by making your own delicious, low-calorie marg at home!

Ingredients, Serves 2:

  • 4 oz tequila, silver
  • 3 oz fresh lime juice
  • 4 oz water (use lime sparkling water to make it carbonated)
  • Optional: a splash of agave syrup if you like it sweet
  • Ice (I liked to use crushed)
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. Sprinkle sea salt on a small flat plate or cutting board. Rub the rim of the glasses with a slice of lime then press the glass into the salt on the plate until it’s coated with salt. Set glasses aside.
  2. Squeeze the limes and add the juice into a measuring cup until you have 3 oz. Add the lime juice to your cocktail shaker.
  3. Pop open that tequila of choice, and measure out 4 oz, then add to your cocktail shaker along with the water.
  4. Add your splash of light agave.
  5. Fill your shaker with ice and get to shakin’!
  6. Use a strainer to pour into your prepared glasses and garnish with a lime.

Now all you need is a beach, backyard, or at least a balcony to lay out on and get a nice Miami tan going. Cheers!

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Food

Make Custom Alternative Milks and Butters in 4 Easy Steps with NutraMilk

Using nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains of almost any variety, NutraMilk cuts out all the extra tools and time needed to make your own butters and milks.

Whether you are avoiding dairy, eliminating preservatives, or just want to make your own custom alternative milk and butter blends, NutraMilk will help make the process easy while reducing waste.

Using nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains of almost any variety, NutraMilk is a versatile appliance that was invented to cut out all the extra tools and time needed to make your own butters and milks. From cashew milk to almond butter, you get to control the flavor, sweetness, and consistency to your taste. The powerful horsepower combined with sharp blades breaks down nuts into butter in minutes. If milking, add water to the butter, and the mixture is forced through little mesh screens to ensure that the final product is extra smooth and creamy.

Nutramilk

Ready to make your own? There is no need to soak your ingredients prior, and there is no straining required after. There are just four simple steps:

  1. Add your dry ingredients to the NutraMilk machine. You can use as little as one cup for small batches or up to three cups for larger servings.
  2. Butter the ingredients. All times are laid out in a handy chart based on the nut, etc. used so there is no guessing. Set the timer and press the Butter button.
  3. Add water. Once you have a creamy butter base, add water and press Mix.
  4. Dispense. Now you have delicious, additive-free milk!

My first time using the NutraMilk was almost too easy. I re-read the directions several times thinking I was forgetting something. The large machine was slightly intimidating and made me think that there was more too it, but it really was that simple. I also liked that the NutraMilk was quieter than many other blenders and food processors.

NutraMilk

While it may not be as cost-effective to make your own alternative milk, this machine will make sure that you are making efficient use of your ingredients. Alternative milk created with the NutraMilk contains 15% nut content with only the additives you want to include. Additionally, there was nothing left over when I was done dispensing! All of the almonds had been used in the milk and there was hardly any pulp remaining.

Although it is a large appliance, you can justify the space and the cost because NutraMilk can easily take the place of your existing food processor. Beyond butters and milks, NutraMilk can be used for smoothies, purees, sauces, dips, and batters.  NutraMilk comes with a giant recipe book with over 200 recipes so that you can have fun experimenting and custom blending your favorite combinations.

RELATED 5 Ingredients You Should Be Adding to Your Smoothies

There are recipes like cinnamon maple almond milk that went amazing with my coffee and lavender honey cashew milk that goes perfect with matcha. As a peanut butter addict, of course, I made my own peanut butter, and I can't wait to try the chocolate hazelnut butter for a homemade Nutella.

If you are someone who likes to know what is in their food, enjoys making their own food, or likes to experiment in the kitchen, I would recommend NutraMilk for the convenience and choices that it provides.

Disclosure: I received the NutraMilk machine in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Food

5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Diet

Here are five simple tips that you can follow to improve your eating habits and diet, and help you reach your fitness goals.

With more time spent at home comes more food temptation (hello quarantine snacks). It can also be a good time to make a conscious decision to work on health and fitness. And that means cleaning up more than just the house.

That's right, I'm talking about diet!

You won't reach your fitness goals without changing your eating habits. The two just go hand in hand. Luckily, you don't have to re-invent the wheel either. Here are five simple, quick tips that you can follow to improve your diet today.

1.Eat More Plants

Not only is eating fruits and veggies a great way to ensure that you're getting essential micronutrients, but it will also likely lower your overall calorie consumption. Produce has more volume and fewer calories, so it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Something as simple as swapping crackers for carrot sticks with your hummus or cookies for apple slices and peanut butter can go a long way in reducing your overall calorie intake and helping keep you satiated after snack time. Grocery store low on fresh produce? Or maybe you just wanna stock up? Frozen fruits and veggies stay good longer and have the same nutritional value as fresh produce.

2.There's Power in Protein

Something as simple as making sure you get enough protein with each meal will do wonders for your appetite and your metabolism. Protein is an essential, muscle-synthesizing macronutrient meaning that, without it, you wouldn't survive. As a healthy, active adult, you should be getting at least .5g of protein per pound of bodyweight. The more active you are, the more muscle you have, the more protein your body will need. In other words, if you're goal is to build muscle or lose fat while maintaining muscle, you will need more. Some great sources of protein are eggs, meats, beans, seeds and legumes, collagen or protein powders, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, dark greens, nuts and nut butters, and tofu.

3. Don't Drink Your Calories

Skip the sodas and juices, reach for waterinstead. Wanting something more exciting? Try flavored sparkling water or addsome citrus for a refreshing, hydrating swap that is much healthier.

4.Stick to the Schedule

There's something to be said forroutine. Having breakfast, a snack, lunch, and dinner during the same timeframe each day can keep you consistent and help you avoid unnecessary snacking.Finding yourself hungry more often? You might be thirsty or you might not beeating enough during your previous meal. Have some fruit or veggies to hold youover until it's time for the next meal.

5.Swap for Lighter Alternatives

When it comes to condiments and dressings, search for lower-calorie options made from wholesome ingredients or try a recipe to make it yourself. Homemade Italian dressing is usually lower-calorie and tastier than anything I've ever bought at the store anyways. You can also switch the sugar and milk in your coffee for sugar-free coffee flavor and almond milk. Little swaps like this may seem like nothing, but they add up over time.

We're all in this together and if I have anything to say about it we'll all come out of this thing quaran-toned!

Manna Life|Manna Life|Manna Life
Food

Manna Life Food: Delicious and Vegan

Manna Life is a vegan and gluten-free spot in Downtown Miami with a mission to change the way people see healthy food “una planta at a time.”

No meat, no problem. Manna Life is a vegan and gluten-free spot in Downtown Miami that has been around for four years. Their mission? Change the way people see healthy food “una planta at a time.”

Check out our original review from 2017!

Manna’s menu is all plant-based and made from scratch. Fernanda Alvarez, co-owner of the restaurant, mentioned that “we don’t use any preservatives, additives, white sugars or flours. Fresh and real food is what defines Manna and make people come back to our place."

Alvarez is a Mexican born and raised “cocinera” who decided to teach the world how to eat properly while staying healthy and on a budget.

“I’m passionate about sharing all my knowledge in my cooking classes and when I’m at the restaurant. I have a peculiar way of making people fall in love with cooking," said Alvarez. "They never expect to end giving up something that wasn’t making them feel well after I teach them the alternative and healthier way of preparing it at home.”

Cooking classes

Manna Life is much more than just healthy eats - they offer hand-on cooking classes where they focus mainly on teaching people how to eat well. It becomes a space for sharing, learning and having fun, with eight different menus to choose from, all vegan & gluten-free.

The restaurant provides all the organic ingredients, then attendees cook for about two hours, before sitting and enjoying what they cooked with the rest of the class. It’s an experience perfect for a romantic date, a birthday bash, or even a team-building activity between colleagues.

Manna Life

With Manna Life, people don’t have to worry about missing any of their favorite dishes, as the restaurant will always find a way to make healthy look and taste delicious.

Learn more on Manna’s Instagram @mannalifefood.

Fresh Market Miami
Food

How to Prep Your Kitchen for a Coronavirus Pandemic

In some ways, of course, this situation is similar to hurricane preparation, where we frantically load up on nonperishables.

Insome ways, of course, this situation is similar to hurricane preparation, wherewe frantically load up on nonperishables.

For starters, we might want to think about cooking.A month’s worth of supplies is a good estimate.

Also, we won’t lose electricity or our roofs. Soalong with the usual shelf-stable canned and packaged items we’re used topurchasing, we can buy perishable foods. But many fresh vegetables, fruits, andherbs go bad quickly or will be eaten before we’re able to go out and mingleagain.

In that case, Linda Gassenheimer, host of Food News and Views onWDNA (88.9 FM) and columnist for Quick Fix Dinner in Minutes, says, “Your freezer isyour friend." She advises stocking up on flash-frozen vegetables andfruits such as blueberries and strawberries. Because they're frozen just afterpicking, they often have more vitamins and minerals than fresh. “That broccoliin the produce section can be three weeks old,” she notes.

Nutrition-wise, Gassenheimer endorses leanproteins such as those big bags of frozen scallops and shrimp. “You can takeout what you need and put the rest back. Plus, they’re already peeled,"she says. "Just put them in a pot of cold water. Once they’re defrosted,you have cooked shrimp ready to use.”

Pulling from large batches — whether store-bought orhomemade — is clearly a smart idea. If recycling and trash services aredisrupted, you don’t want a kitchen or garage filled with dozens of sticky,smelly containers.

Betsy Karetnick, who formerly worked as the Morning Drive hostfor Martha Stewart and is familiar with prepping, cooking, and freezing inlarge quantities (and is this writer's sister), recommends stocking suppliesfor soups, i.e., hearty produce that lasts: potatoes, beets, carrots, celery.She also notes that of all fresh fruits, citrus keeps well in the fridge.“Bananas, like mangoes, can be peeled and frozen for smoothies and baking,” sheadds.

Baking is an excellent idea for families withchildren — it’s entertainment with an edible end — so add flour, sugar, bakingsoda, baking powder, vanilla extract, and eggs to your list. Plan to freezewhatever you don’t eat right away.

If you don’t want to bake, preservatives will do thetrick. Writers are best at practicing solitude, so what would they buy? PoetCatherine Esposito Prescott says she'll go for “those potato rolls that nevergo bad, and Entenmann’s products because they also never expire.”

For fresh herbs, buy them now and make pesto orpurée them with olive oil. Then freeze in ice-cube trays, release when frozen,and store in plastic bags so they don’t take up much room.

Feel free to treat yourself to gourmet items aswell. Go to Marky’s and buy truffles preserved in oil, as well as mustard,cornichons, foie gras, and sustainable caviar. Head to Costco and grab somehunks of cheese that make Jason Momoa’s head look small. In addition, ratherthan buying sliced deli meat that's sure to go rancid, opt for cured and driedsausages.

What’sthat, you say? Fats, salt, and nitrates? Forget about it. This is no time toworry about long-term harm to our arteries.

That said, don't load up the cheese drawer withpungent washed-rind cheeses such as Époisses de Bourgogne, which urban legendsays is so odorous it’s banned from public transportation in France. Even ifyou live alone, it flavors everything in the refrigerator.

Think quarantine might last longer than a month?Take a page from DoomsdayPreppers and order a year's supply of freeze-driedgoods from Walmart. The BaseKamp cheesy lasagna reportedly rocks.

And above all, be sure to stockpile your sense of humor. We'll all need plenty of that no matter what coronavirus brings.

*This article was originally published on Miami New Times by Jen Karetnick, and can be found here.

Green G
Food

Green G Juice Bar Brings Health to Edgewater Neighborhood

Green G Juice Bar in Miami has a lot to offer. Its healthy, extensive, guilt-free menu will make you feel good and satisfied all day long.

Green G Juice Bar, a healthy spot completely designed with recycled wood, has a lot to offer. Its extensive guilt-free menu will make you feel good and satisfied all day long.

The G stands for "Green Generation." The juice bar started in 2014 with a shared family passion for fitness and health.  Andrea Plazas, a graduated health coach, Diana Molina, a fitness passionate, and David Plazas, a juice enthusiast, realized that they were part of a lifestyle where most of their daily habits were around clean food, going to the gym, and preventive medicine.

Green G prides itself on quality ingredients and nutrient-packed recipes, with "superfoods all over their menu". They specialize in Acai Bowls, protein smoothies, and cold-pressed juices using their favorite cold-pressed method.

Plazas told us one of Green G's secrets for success: their Acai Bowl is a recipe made entirely by them.

“We don't buy frozen mix; we craft each bowl making it fresher and more delicious," says Plazas. "You might have to wait just a little longer than in other places, but quality takes time, right?”

Whether you are looking for a quick bite after your workout or a place for a healthy treat to share a good time with your friends, Green G has you covered.

Must-haves:

  • Luscious Bowl - half chia seed pudding and half acai bowl
  • The Knockout - acai with a mix of nuts and almond butter and one of their best sellers.
  • Blue Monk smoothie bowl - packed with superfoods and high-end products like monk fruit, blue majik, cashew, and coconut meat.

New in 2020:

  • Smoothie Bombs
  • Vegan toast

Discover more about Green-G Juice Bar on Instagram @GreenGJuiceBar or stop by any day of the week to have a guilt-free bite or drink.