Fitness For The Holidays

It’s that magical time of year again- the tree is up, the stockings are hung, and you’ve said goodbye to your skinny jeans for the holidays.  With all the parties and baking crammed into December festivities, it’s easy to put on a few extra pounds. Fortunately, we have compiled a few tips to make staying in shape for the holidays easy, too!

  • Keep up with your regular exercise routine. It will help you burn those extra calories you consumed at last night’s party.
  • Never go to a party hungry. Having a healthy snack before you go will make it easier to resist overeating.
  • Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize you’re full- and by that time, you’ve already had second helpings. Slow down and enjoy each bite.
  • Eat protein. It makes you feel full. An extra helping of Christmas Turkey will curb your desire for extra pie for dessert.
  • Try new recipes.  Use ingredients that are low in fat and sugar.
  • Easy does it on the drinking. Alcohol is high in empty calories and drinks can add up fast. Set your limit before over-indulging.
  • Make good decisions. Let’s face it- you’re going to eat the pie. Pumpkin pie is generally a better for you than pecan pie, and once slice is better for you than two.
  • Be a cautious cook.  Good cooks always sample as they go… but do you really need to sample a handful of marshmallows for the sweet potato casserole.



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freschef is now in Lexington Kentucky!

freschef is now available at Kroger stores in Kentucky. Get a sneak peak by going to:

The first 5 people who email with answers to the questions below will receive a cash prize!

  1. What is the average price per serving for a freschef meal?
  2. Name 3 items on the current menu for Lexington, KY.

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Summer entertaining/desserts

Spending time with friends and family outdoors is what makes the summer time so much fun.  If it’s a weekday dinner or weekend summer party that you are hosting, there are several things you can do to make your
summer events a splash.

When it already feels like and oven outside the last thing you want to do is stand in front of yours all afternoon.  Get outside and grill.  Grilling is a healthy way to cook without using all of the unhealthy sauces that are filled with calories and fat.  Fresh grilled hamburgers and hot dogs are the easy way to go, but grilled fish, lamb, steaks and chicken add a little bit of sophistication while still keeping things simple and light.

 Use the natural foods that are in season to highlight your party or dinner. Watermelon, corn, melons, peaches, apricots, berries, and oranges are all ripe this time of year.  While corn on the cob is a great dinner favorite, fruits can be served chilled and are packed with nutrients.

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by Eating Greens

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday known for leprechauns, shamrocks and all things green. Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather on St. Patrick’s Day to share a traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. Cabbage doesn’t just go with corn beef; it is an extremely healthy food that is rich in nutrition and fiber.  Cabbage isn’t the only green food that is healthy for you. In fact, most leafy greens are packed with beta carotene, iron, calcium, and vitamin C, A, B6, and E.

A green food that is heart healthy and helps fight high cholesterol is avocado. Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that may actually help raise HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL.  And, more than any other fruit, this tasty food packs cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol, a beneficial plant-based fat that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food.

Other nourishing greens include asparagus, artichokes, basil, broccoli, green apples, green beans, celery, cucumber, dandelion, honeydew melon, green pears, peas, spinach, and zucchini.  Green tea is loaded with antioxidants. It also contains flavonoids, a class of naturally occurring plant compounds that function as antioxidants that are good for the heart.

Why not give greens a try? They are a great spring cleanser and they pack a substantial nutritional punch. So, it’s the perfect time to buy and eat greens!

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Back to School Blues Lunch Tips

Mornings can turn hectic quickly. Getting everyone dressed, fed and out the door leave little time to focus on much else, yet alone preparing healthy lunches for our loved one and selves. Often convenience wins over nutrition when the clock is ticking. Lunch is an important meal of the day, especially for kids who need that extra energy to focus during school. Here are six ideas to help make the back to school transition a bit easier for you, and nutritious for the kids.

  1. Plan ahead and know what you want to prepare for the week and try to make the lunches the night before. Even get the kids to help pack and prepare their own lunches. When they are involved in the process they will be that much more excited about what they are eating.
  2. Ask your kids specifically what they like and what they don’t. Getting feedback takes the guesswork out of packing a lunch. If they like pizza, make cold mini-pizzas with vegetable toppings.
  3. Don’t just throw away the wrappers or leftovers when cleaning out their lunchbox. Use your detective skills to see what your kids are eating or not eating and bringing home. Once you know what they don’t enjoy, it will be easier to shop for varieties of the foods they love.
  4. Don’t sweat it if they want the same thing every day. As long as they are getting their daily dose of nutrients, feel free to pack the same sandwich Monday through Friday.  With your older kids, make sure they are getting enough to eat each day. Nothing can be more distracting in the classroom than hunger pains.
  5. Save some money and instead of buying prepackaged bags of cookies or chips, make a trail or snack mix using things like dried fruit, unsalted crackers, pretzels, popcorn or nuts. Kids love to dip, give them a side of low-fat ranch to dip carrots or other vegetables into. Also try salsas, fruit dips, bean dips and other exciting ways for the kids to mix up their lunch, but still get the fiber and nutrition they need.
  6. Try cutting foods up into smaller portions. Slice up that big old sandwich, or use cookie cutters so the younger kids can not only handle it with more ease, but also enjoy eating something that is not in a traditional shape.
  7. Lastly, give them something to look forward to with lunch. With younger kids that is easy to do with a sticker, or even a crayon and a small page out of a coloring book. With the older kids, throw in a favorite treat or a couple of quarters for them to pick something out of the school’s vending machines. If you are preparing healthy lunches, there is nothing wrong with a little lunchtime treat.

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Soothing Summer Smoothies

Finding ways to stay cool can be tough with these triple digit temperatures. While taking a dip in the pool is a refreshing way to stay cool, another fantastic and simple way to beat the heat is making homemade fruit smoothies. Here are a few of our favorite smoothie recipes.

To make any of these smoothies, simply place all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.

Strawberry smoothie
2 1/2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry nectar
1 pitted peach
1 cup low-fat, plain yogurt or strawberry yogurt if you don’t have the nectar
2 cups ice

Berry Blast smoothie
1 banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen cherries
4 ice cubes
½ cup orange juice
¾ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
½ teaspoon honey (optional)

Lemonade smoothie
1 cup lemonade
1 1/2 cups of raspberries
1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt
2 cups of ice

Blueberry smoothie
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup washed, stemmed blueberries
honey to taste
2 cups of ice

Mango smoothie
1 1/2 cups chopped mango (fresh or frozen)
1 cup guava or mango nectar, chilled
2/3 cup NESTLÉ CARNATION Evaporated Milk
Juice from 2 limes
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
Ice cubes (optional)
Sliced almonds (optional) and

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Stay cool by spicing it up!

The heat has us all diving for air-conditioned buildings or into swimming pools. With this being the hottest summer on record, people across the globe are feeling the heat. However, we can take a tip from some of our warm weather friends to help stay cool when the temperatures are soaring into the hundreds.

Have you ever noticed that some of the hottest places have some of the spiciest food? Jamaica, Thailand, and Mexico are all places that like their food with a bite, but also have very hot summers. What they have all found is that spicy food can cool you off, and help you to enjoy the summer months.

Peppers and spice can help activate our bodies’ natural cooling process. Here are some of the things that a little spicy food can do for us.

– All that hot spice makes us sweat. When the water evaporates off our skin it draws the heat away from our bodies, cooling us off.

– The added spice increases blood flow that pushes your blood vessels to the surface of the skin allowing for the heat to radiate out.

– Spices also make us reach for a tall cold glass of water. The cool liquid not only helps put out the flames, but also keeps us hydrated allowing our cooling processes to work properly.

So if you are finding it hard to beat the heat this summer, turn up the temperature of your meals and let your natural air conditioning go to work.

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