Thursday, November 29, 2012

Win Chobani Greek Yogurt!

Photo courtesy of Chobani Greek Yogurt:

Chobani has whipped up six new blended Greek yogurt flavors and they want you to try them! They're sponsoring a giveaway here on the GoodFood blog. One lucky winner will receive six 16-ounce containers of Chobani in the following fantastic new flavors:
  • Low-fat Mango
  • Low-fat Vanilla Chocolate Chunk
  • Non-fat Black Cherry
  • Non-fat Blueberry
  • Non-fat Peach
  • Low-fat Pineapple
I am a major Greek yogurt-lover and eat it every day--plain, with fruit, with granola or nuts and on top of potatoes, chili and soup. But these new flavors have inspired me in a whole new way. And the deliciousness doesn't stop there--you'll find tons of recipes featuring Chobani's yogurt on their website. It's a great way to cut the fat and boost the nutritional value of appetizers, main dishes and sweets. Yum.

Enter the contest using the handy little Rafflecopter widget below. No purchase is necessary and the more actions you take, the more entries you get! The winner will be selected on December 14th, so you'll get your yogurt just in time to whip up some fantastic holiday dishes. Check out the recipes and get prepared.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Half Your Plate Video Winners!

The USDA recently sponsored the MyPlate Fruits and Vegetables Video Challenge inviting participants to create short videos showing how they add fruits and veggies to their diets without spending lots of money. "Make half your plate fruits and vegetables" is one of the key messages found in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, highlighted by the release of MyPlate last year. I was so pleased to see so many great videos, many of them from our nation's youngsters! I hope they inspire you to find new ways to add fruits and veggies to your diet too. Check out how the winners do it:

Click here to view the rest of the winning videos.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shop the GoodFood Store on Small Business Saturday!

Looking for the perfect gift for the foodie on your list? Check out the GoodFood Store for hand-picked items they're sure to enjoy. You'll find cooking gadgets, appliances and utensils, handy storage and prep solutions and my favorite healthy-eating cookbooks. No matter if you're looking for a big gift or some stocking-stuffers, you'll find great options here.

The GoodFood Store links up with, so you don't have to set up a new account. Just sign in using your Amazon ID and password. If you're an Amazon Prime member, you'll also get free shipping!

By shopping in the GoodFood Store, you're supporting small business. A small portion of each purchase you make goes to the Good Food Tastes Good blog and will help us keep going strong (and that's no additional cost on your end). Your support is very much appreciated.

So do something good for the food-lover, clean-eater or nutrition buff in your family! Shop the virtual GoodFood Store in your PJs this Saturday. Happy shopping and happy eating!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cranberry-Orange Relish

The Thanksgiving turkey just isn't complete without the accompaniment of cranberry sauce. As soon as I start to see bags of cranberries in the produce department at the grocery store, I get excited! Fresh cranberries are a seasonal treat and, to me, are another sign of the holiday season.

Cranberries have a unique tart flavor and also offer many health benefits. Per 1 cup raw, cranberries contain only 45 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrate, while packing in 4 grams of fiber! They also contain markedly high levels of antioxidants--nutrients that fight free radicals and help prevent disease. To enjoy cranberries after the fall/winter season, freeze leftover cranberry sauce for later or use dried cranberries year-round.

This Thanksgiving, don't settle for the canned cranberry sauce (that still looks like a can when you get it out). It's so easy and quick to whip up a fresh cranberry sauce at home! Here's my favorite recipe--it has a hint of orange.

Cranberry-Orange Compote
Serving size: 1/4 cup. Serves 16.
Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 (12 oz.) bags fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • Zest, juice and pulp of one orange
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cranberries will start to soften and pop within 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Stir until most of the cranberries have popped and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat to cool and thicken. 
  4. Refrigerate.
Nutrition information (per 1/4 cup):
Calories 75 | Total fat 0g | Sodium 0mg | Total carbohydrate 19g | Dietary fiber 2g.

Liz's Tip: Substitute a granulated sugar substitute (like Splenda) for the sugar to reduce calories and carbohydrates.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Wishing you and your loved ones a fantastic Thanksgiving filled with love, laughter, fun and fabulous food.

Related Posts:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don't Let the Holidays Weigh You Down! How to Use All That Food to Your Advantage

Thanksgiving is in one week. WHAT?! Where did this year go?

I feel safe saying that most of us love the holidays, but those fond feelings are often accompanied by worry...about weight management plans, dieting, blood sugar control or heart health. Well don't worry. You can enjoy the holidays and stick to your health plan at the same time--it just takes a little forethought and advanced planning.

Maintaining your weight (or losing weight) is all about balancing the calories you take in and the calories you burn. Although a Thanksgiving meal can add up to several thousand calories, this one meal won't make or break your weight loss plan. The keys to maintaining your weight throughout the holidays are:

1. Healthy selections
Make smart selections that have fewer calories and less fat such as lots of veggies, white meat vs. dark and beverages with fewer calories. If you're in charge of a dish, choose something healthy to bring.

2. Recipe modifications
Use simple recipe swaps that reduce calories, fat and sugar. Click here for a free downloadable list of simple recipe substitutions.

3. Portion control
Love your grandma's pumpkin pie? You only get it once a year, so go for it! Just have one slice and skip other desserts. Or take a very small portion of a couple.

4. Managing leftovers
The Thanksgiving feast shouldn't last for days on end. That's how calories can really add up over the holidays! Click on the link below to get tips on managing leftovers--use them to your advantage and save yourself some time in the kitchen over the busy holiday season!

5. Exercise
Do not, do not, do not slack off on exercise just because of the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Yes, you may have some additional tasks on you, wrapping, cooking, etc. but that is no excuse to let exercise go completely. Burning calories is key to balancing the ones you eat! Click on the link below for some fall/winter activities that burn calories and don't even feel like exercise.

Just because you choose to indulge a little on Thanksgiving (and you should) doesn't mean you have to go off the deep end and continue the pattern until the New Year begins! Think ahead, make a plan you can stick to and enjoy time with those you love.

Read more about these tips in my Yahoo! Voices article: Don't Let Thanksgiving Leftovers Weigh You Down This Year!

Photo attributed to LeeBrimelow via Flickr. Use of this photo is subject to Creative Commons license. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Diabetes: Protect Our Future

November is American Diabetes Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of diabetes.

World Diabetes Day, sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), is celebrated annually on November 14th. The campaign, symbolized by a blue circle, aims to educate, engage and empower youth and the general public on diabetes. The 2012 World Diabetes Day campaign marks the fourth year of the five-year focus on “diabetes education and prevention.”

The IDF states that "there is an urgent need to continue to widen the awareness of the factors responsible for the global diabetes and the solutions that are required to counter it."

"The World Diabetes Day 2012 campaign will link the urgent need for action to the protection of the health of our future generations. Particular focus will be placed on highlighting the importance of education--for health professionals, people with diabetes and people at risk--in reducing the impact of diabetes throughout the world."

The slogan chosen for the 2012 campaign is:


"The 2012 campaign will have a special focus on children and young people as the driving force for the promotion and dissemination of education and prevention messages that we hope will inspire and engage local communities to recognize the importance of early awareness of the risks and dangers of diabetes. The aim is to build awareness among children and young people of the warning signs and risk factors for diabetes and that in many cases type 2 diabetes can be prevented through healthy eating and physical activity."

The three key messages of the campaign are:
  1. Access to essential education for everyone
  2. The way we live is putting our health at risk
  3. People with diabetes face stigma and discrimination.
So today, wear blue or pin on your blue circle. Represent IDF's mission to spread knowledge about diabetes care, prevention and a cure.

To learn more about the 2012 WDD campaign, click here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Recipe Swaps: Simple Substitutions for Healthier Recipes

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, if you're like me, you're mouth has started watering just thinking about your favorite family recipes! Even though it is okay to indulge a little on Thanksgiving, calories can really add up, so it is important to improve what you can. With the right substitutions, you can reduce the calories, fat, sodium and sugar (while pumping up the nutritional value) of your favorite recipes without sacrificing the taste you love. The bottom line is this: healthier recipes start with healthier ingredients.

In this free download, you'll find suggestions for some simple ingredient swaps. Some ingredients you can substitute completely without risking a big change in your final product, like brown rice for white rice or Greek yogurt for sour cream. But in other recipes, especially baked goods, you'll want to start by substituting a little at a time to see how it will impact your final product. For example: sugar helps baked goods rise and brown. If you try substituting mashed bananas for sugar, start with half first to see how everything turns out.

Download Recipe Swaps here for free!

Try these recipes in which some simple ingredient swaps were used. Can you tell?

Whole Wheat and Flax Pancakes

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Friday, November 9, 2012

Marion Nestle: Kids Don't Need Kids' Food

Marion Nestle is a foremost expert on nutrition in the United States and a role model of mine. Her common sense approach to nutrition--that's based in fact--is one that I also strive for in my practice. I was again pleased to read her comments on accessibility to healthy food and parental influence published in the October 2012 issue of Childhood Obesity. I thought it was very much worth passing along.

Here's an excerpt from Jamie Devereaux's interview with Nestle, entitled Kids Don't Need Kids' Food:

Devereaux: "Further to the discussion of packaged food: Do you think diets can be healthy and still include packaged foods?"
Nestle: "Can the typical American diet progress to a diet entirely free of packaged foods? And what would it take to get there? Why does it have to be 100% one way or the other? That makes no sense to me. Right now, the default diet is largely based on foods that are processed or pre-prepared. I would like to see a better balance between foods cooked from scratch and those made by someone else. I’m not sure what the exact balance is but the idea would be to change it over time to make a greater percentage of food intake come from fresh, relatively unprocessed foods."

Devereaux: "Finally, if you could shape the discussion of healthy food access for children in America—how would you frame it and what would you focus on?"
Nestle: "Kids don’t need kids’ food. If adults are eating healthfully, kids should be eating the same foods that adults eat. Babies don’t need commercial baby food. Older kids don’t need kids’ products. Families can all eat the same foods, and that should make life easier for all concerned. If you don’t want your kids drinking sodas, don’t bring them home from the supermarket. Teach kids to eat real foods early on, and they will be great eaters throughout life."

It's hard, if not impossible, to find a person who eats a perfect diet. Do we even know what perfect is? But if we strive to eat mostly good, wholesome foods that have been minimally processed, I think Nestle would agree, that we'd be much healthier.

With all the nutritional "clutter" that's out there, it can be difficult to figure out what's right. Just keep in mind that there really are no tricks. No secrets. All of us, no matter our age, should aim to keep healthy eating simple. Ask yourself these questions the next time you are eating: "Did it grow in the ground or from a tree? Can I recognize the ingredients?" Let that be your first guide. We all like to indulge every now and then in something this isn't quite as good for us. What's the harm really as long as it isn't a regular thing?

To read the entire piece, click here.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Fall Project: Finally Success!

For a little background, my project this fall is to grow a fall garden (ha--like I only have one project). I'm still a relatively new urban gardener and have only grown during the summer season until this year.

{In my previous posts, you can read about how we expanded the garden space this year, my first attempt at growing seedlings (which failed big time) and my beginning success at sowing seeds into the garden.}

I planted lettuce, spinach, radishes and kale from seed--all cold weather-withstanding plants. I got them into the garden in mid-September, which is a little late, but the temperature is still only barely dipping into the 30s here in St. Louis. About six weeks later...I finally have some edible success!

I can't explain how excited and proud I was to pull my first radish out of the ground this past weekend! I've successfully grown tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers and herbs, but for some reason this was different. Maybe because it was new. Or because I finally succeeded at something that takes such great patience. Or because it's kind of like a little surprise to pull a radish from underneath the soil when it was just a root a week ago. It always amazes me!

My spinach and lettuce are also off to a great start. I was also able to trim some baby greens for a nice salad too.

The rewards of gardening are so great. I love the awesome tasting produce that I can walk out into the backyard and pick. It's so beautiful! (And not to mention cheap.) Gardening is a great escape too. I love being out in nature picking edibles that were once just seeds. It feels good to be self-sustaining in some way, even though it's just in my little piece of this big, convenience-driven world.

I've still got some picking to do this year, but I know I'll be eagerly awaiting spring when I can do it again. I learn more every time I give it a go and I hope my journey toward successful urban gardening has inspired you too! Stick around to find out what I do with my fall harvest.

If you're working on your green thumb, check out these two sites that I love:
My Urban Farmscape
How to Garden Advice

Related Posts:
Garden Expansion 2012

A Fall Garden (And How To Plant Vegetable Seeds)

Damage Control