Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from Natural Solutions 

The holidays are in full swing, and we all know what that means—food, family, friends, fun… and did we mention food? Although most of our holiday traditions are centered around good eats, you don’t have to overindulge and you can make better food choices—you just have to know what to pick. And, even if you do eat too much, we can help you establish some healthy New Year’s resolutions to get back on track.

Sweet Tidings
Walk into Mani’s, a popular Los Angeles bakery, and the chocolate-filled cookies, rich brownies, and cakes might have you mentally kissing your healthy eating habits good-bye. But stick around long enough and you’ll discover that the delicious-looking sweets lining the cases in front of you don’t have a bit of refined sugar in them. Instead, they’re made with molasses, agave nectar, fruit juice concentrate, and other all-natural sugar substitutes. What’s more, Mani Niall, the bakery’s founder and author of Sweet! (Perseus Books, 2008) maintains that these natural sweeteners are healthy and easy ingredients to use when you’re baking. You can avoid refined sugar and still indulge with these all-natural alternatives.
Good Food—Healthy Holiday Parties Stringing up multicolored lights and decorating the house for the holidays just puts me in a good mood. I guess that’s because I like throwing parties and having the chance to cook for friends and family. We all have a lot to be thankful for, and there’s nothing better than good food and good conversation to underscore that theme. As much as I love to concoct all kinds of delicacies in my kitchen though, it’s getting trickier and trickier to plan these party menus. Lately, everyone seems to be on a different food wavelength. Join Maureen Callahan as she shares how she serves good food at her holiday parties for everyone—even those with “special diets.”

Achieve Your New Year’s Health Goals Every January 1, it’s the same deal. I’m eager to write out a resolution list and get started on my goals, because this year I will drop 10 pounds, stress less, save more money, and be the most giving person I can be. Fast-forward a few weeks, or even several days: That list is now located under a mountain of papers on my desk, and I’m back to my same old routine of going to costly, caloric happy hours with friends, rushing through workouts, and stressing over deadlines. Sticking to your goals isn’t easy. Get ideas on how better to achieve your goals for the New Year here!

Cranberry Almond Bread Pudding
Nothing screams the holidays louder than a good dessert, which is why you should try this recipe for an amazing bread pudding! Enjoy!

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