Registered Dietitian’s Top 3 Tips to Surviving the Holidays: Heathy Alternatives for Halloween & Thanksgiving


Halloween Candy

The next few weeks will be filled with candy corn, apple cider, pumpkin spiced lattes, pie and all your favorite Fall comfort foods – already loosening your belt buckle? Euphebe, a new food and coaching program that makes it easy to break the cycle of cravings caused by “crappy food”, helps navigate the temptations, offering healthy alternatives to the not-so-healthy snacks and treats associated with autumn.

Eupehbe’s Executive Director of Nutrition + Strategic Development, M.S., R.D. Kayleen St. John, gives her top three tips for surviving Halloween and Thanksgiving below:

Have a Healthy Halloween – It Doesn’t Have to be Scary!

  1. Not All Chocolate is Equal: Instead of the low quality ‘chocolate-like’ candy you might find at your office, instead arm yourself with a bar of 85% dark chocolate to help fight the urge.  In addition to antioxidants, dark chocolate also has a great deal of fiber making a few squares a win-win.
  2. BYOT (Bring Your Own Treats): If you’re constantly faced with Halloween candy at work, bring in your own treats.  Halve a few bananas, stick popsicle sticks in the bottom and freeze then. Once frozen, dip in melted dark chocolate and refreeze. Your office will thank you for the tasty and indulgent-feeling treat.
  3. If You Must Indulge, Choose Wisely: If you can’t fight the urge any longer, opt for a small packet (a palmful) of Goobers or Raisinettes.  At the very least you’ll be getting some protein from the peanuts and a bit of fiber from the raisins (but still candy, of course).

Surviving Thanksgiving – Leave the Stuffing to the Turkey

  1. Keep Passing the Bread Basket: Focus on ‘ seasonal starches’ and skip the bread basket/rolls.  The traditional Thanksgiving meal is quite carbohydrate or starch heavy (think mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, desserts, etc).  With all of those seasonal starches, you’re better off avoiding the bread basket entirely and choosing 1-2 seasonal starches to enjoy.
  2. Skip the Sweet Potato Casserole: (It’s usually contains maple syrup and marshmallows) and instead, roast sweet potatoes or butternut squash with coconut oil and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice for a warming, sweet side dish.
  3. You Can Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: Dessert … choose one and enjoy the heck out of it.  If you’re making the dessert to bring, reduce the sugar by 50% and it will still be enjoyed (promise!)

Want to Get a Head Start?

Sign up for the November E28 ReBoot by Tuesday, October 25th (11.59pm EST) to receive 5% off.  You’ll be done just in time for turkey! New customers can use the promo code “EARLY BIRD” at checkout to redeem.

Sunday roast - Thanksgiving turkey dinner

*This is a guest post. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect my own. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. 

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Entenmann’s & The Great American Milk Drive Sweepstakes


School Milk Lunch

It’s hard to believe that kids have been in school for over a month now. It’s funny how school supplies are quickly replaced with Halloween decorations and even Christmas decor too. It’s sad that some stores try and rush the seasons/holidays. Can’t we just enjoy our kids being back to school, or for some, just starting school for the first time.

I work with a kindergarten class. School is so new to them. They have so much ahead of them whereas my “baby” is a senior in high school and his school life is coming to a close. Sigh…

Our kids have lunch in the cafeteria with the older kids. I still remember their very first time going on line to get lunch. They are so little – I didn’t know how they could even hold the trays. Now, a few weeks later, and they are all “pros” at it.

As a teacher’s assistant it’s my responsibility to make sure each child has lunch, including fruit and milk. They certainly love the chocolate milk.

I drank milk all the time as a child. I loved it! There was nothing better than a cold glass of milk. Mmm… Sadly, I had surgery that did something to my “insides,” so I am not able to drink much milk. I can have a few sips here and there, but I am unable to drink an entire glass. I miss that! I used to love milk so much.

I am grateful that my kids still drink milk, even though our son just turned 17 and our daughter is almost 20. They have already enjoyed milk and I hope they continue to do so as the grow up. Even my husband drinks milk on a daily basis. We go through about two gallons a week – sometimes more.


Entenmann’s®, makers of delicious baked goods (I LOVE their French Toast Donuts!) has proudly partnered with The Great American Milk Drive in order to help deliver 100,000 servings of milk to children and families in need across the country. This makes great sense. After all, donuts and milk are perfect together.

Entenmann’s® and The Great American Milk Drive have created the “Entenmann’s® Donuts & Milk: Perfect Together Sweepstakes” helping deliver milk to those who need it the most.

For every entry received during the “Entenmann’s® Donuts & Milk: Perfect Together Sweepstakes”, one 8 oz. glass of nutrient-rich milk will be donated to The Great American Milk Drive, up to 100,000 servings. WOW! That is A LOT of milk.

People who enter the sweepstakes can win a variety of prizes. Twenty five (25) First Place winners will  win a one year supply of milk and Entenmann’s® donuts. One hundred (100) second prize winners will win four boxes of Entenmann’s® donuts. Yum Yum!

Entering is super easy. Simply visit the contest page on Facebook, enter in your basic information (name, address…) and hit “enter.” Its that easy!


Not only will you be entered to win a “sweet” prize, you’ll also be helping to bring delicious, nutritious milk to thousands of children across the country who need it. It’s a win-win situation if you ask me.

I hope you will take the opportunity to enter the sweepstakes to help out The Great American Food Drive. For more information about The Great American Milk Drive visit MilkLife.com.

For information about Entenmann’s visit Entenmanns.com.

Both can also be found on social media. The links are found on their websites.

Are YOU a milk drinker?

What is YOUR favorite Entenmann’s product?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

PHOTO SOURCE: Entenmann's Facebook page

PHOTO SOURCE: Entenmann’s Facebook page


*I received a gift package from Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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3 Unknown Factors That May Be Affecting Your Metabolism


health - wet apple

Calories: We study them listed through our fitness trackers, noting how many we burned. We consider them on nutrition facts panels and some restaurant menus to monitor how many we take in. We use this little unit as a currency to control our energy balance in an effort to achieve and maintain our ideal body weight. This currency is so valuable that we want to believe that it is infallible. But what if it isn’t? It turns out that there are unknown factors that may be affecting energy balance and metabolism.

The first factor influencing calorie absorption and therefore your metabolism is your gut microbiome. Our gut is rich in bacteria that need to be kept in a good and beneficial balance. There is science that suggests good bacteria (probiotics) may benefit our bodies in a variety of ways, including the way we absorb calories and therefore our metabolism. Researchers have found, in fact, that when our gut bacteria are imbalanced we are at greater risk of becoming overweight. Scientists are looking toward a time when we may have tailored probiotics to assist individuals in achieving a better bacteria balance.

Researchers have also found that the way we digest certain foods affects how many calories we absorb from that food and thereby ultimately our metabolism. Specifically, it seems that nuts, which are uniquely rich in both fiber and healthful fat, and therefore digest slowly, may not be absorbed the way we thought. With fibrous foods like nuts, digestion has to begin with good chewing, and in our rush to eat most of us don’t chew enough. Ultimately, we don’t break down nuts entirely and therefore don’t actually take in as many calories as are listed on the nutrition facts panel.

Lastly, diet composition may influence calorie absorption and metabolism. Researchers have found that it isn’t always the number of calories we consume, but rather what those calories are composed of in terms of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. So it may not just be how much food you eat, but rather what you eat, as well as the timing of your meals that impacts your metabolism.

It is natural to ask if calories still matter. The answer (at least for now) is yes. While it may not be the perfect currency we wish it was, it is the only currency we have. That said, the science around factors that influence calorie absorption will continue to evolve. Keep an eye on this interesting space and stay tuned for more information and guidance to come.

Healthy eating

Author Bio:

Allison Stowell is a Consulting Dietitian at Guiding Stars.

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5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy For the School Year


Back to School

The kids are back to school, and while parents are adjusting to new schedules, homework demands, and more, they also need to ensure their children stay as healthy as possible, despite being exposed to classmates’ sniffling, sneezing, and germ-sharing habits.

Here are 5 tips to keep kids healthy and happy as the school year begins:

  • Bank those sleep hours –Late night TV watching, video gaming and texting disrupt sleep patterns, so set limits on computer and smartphone use, and reinforce reasonable bedtimes in the first weeks of school. Not only are good sleep habits part of a healthy lifestyle, some studies show that even one less hour of sleep a night can hurt a child’s ability to learn. Sandra Bond Chapman, Ph.D., Chief Director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas notes that our brain needs approximately 8 hours to rest and consolidate learning of new information.
  • Quickly treat aches and pains – Children, like adults, can overdo it: not getting enough rest or eating a healthy diet, especially during the first hectic weeks of school. That leaves them more susceptible to a range of ailments, including scratchy throats. Keep an eye on signs of a cold and act quickly before they progress. For a sore, scratchy throat, parents should choose over-the-counter medicines made for children, not adults, like all-natural Nature’s Jeannie™ Throat Care Spray for Kids, that not only soothes and coats irritated throats, but reduces bacteria significantly, loosens mucus, decreases inflammation and helps restore the throat’s natural pH balance. The spray also minimizes the risk of overmedicating: a new study found that 1 in 5 parents give their child overdoses of common medicines, due to confusing instructions and dosage information.
  • Reinforce healthy eating habits – It’s hard to get kids to eat healthy when fries, pizza and other fast food are on the school menu. Parents might consider making sure that at least a healthy breakfast starts the day, and here is good reason why. Scientists from the University of Alberta-Canada, in a study of more than 4,500 fifth-graders, found that children who ate more whole fruits and vegetables, and consumed fewer calories from fat performed better in school. “This study demonstrates the independent importance of overall diet quality to academic performance,” concluded lead author Dr. Paul J. Veugelers and colleagues.
  • Reinforce smart hygiene habits – How do kids contract germs in and out of the classroom? Not washing their hands! Kids frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make them sick. Empower your child with their own sanitizer keychain (fun, yet functional), remind them about the importance of washing their hands and explain how germs spread.
  • Encourage physical activity over digital activity – Although the school year does incorporate some play time or recess, not all schools put the same emphasis on the importance of physical activity. Especially in this highly digital age of iPads, smart phones, digital games, apps, media galore – go out of your way to carve some time for physical fitness. Consider a walk with the family after dinner, or a marathon jump rope contest. Researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise (three times a week for 50 minutes) improves memory function, so exercise is a good way to engage in quality time with your child and build their mental muscle.

Parents can start the school year off right with a child who is rested, healthy, eating well, feeling positive and focused on being healthy – it provides the best opportunity for an enjoyable school year for both you and your student!

Back to School

About the author:

Nature’s Jeannie™ was born out of frustration: plagued by painful sore throats, Juliet Boghossian concocted a throat gargle she could rely on to relieve and remedy her sore throat quickly and naturally, and eventually teamed with her husband, Michael Tatosian, to further develop the product that became Gargle Away® Advanced Throat Care. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Gargle Away’s proprietary blend of all-natural germ fighting, pain relieving and highly soothing ingredients provides the most comprehensive and effective throat care without a prescription. 

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5 Natural Teeth Whitening Tricks You Can Easily Do at Home



A lot of people aspire to have whiter teeth. Unfortunately, however, professional whitening procedures aren’t only costly, but they can also take much of your time. If you are looking for natural alternatives, here are a few tricks you can try:

Baking Soda with Lemon Juice

Baking soda has a mild abrasive agent that can gently scrub away any surface stains on your teeth. It’s also alkaline in nature, which means it can balance the pH level of your mouth. This helps prevent bacteria from proliferating in your oral cavity. Lemon juice, on the other hand, has an innate brightening effect.


Take a few teaspoons of baking soda and put it in a clean bowl. Add enough drops of lemon to create a paste. Expect the mixture to chemically react and form bubbles. Before actually applying the paste on your teeth, wipe off excess saliva using a paper towel. You can use a spare toothbrush or a cotton swab for application.

Coconut Oil Pulling

Although the idea might make you cringe, oil pulling is actually an effective teeth whitening trick. Coconut oil works by pulling off the stains on the surface of your teeth as well as the bacteria that are making them yellow.

This trick can be a bit time consuming, especially if you prefer to melt the coconut oil before placing it inside your mouth. If you are thinking of adding it to your dental hygiene routine, it’s best if you can set aside enough time for it. This method is best done in the morning to get rid of the bacteria that have build up during your sleep.


Take a good amount of coconut oil and place inside your mouth. Swish it around for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to pass the oil through and around your teeth. Spit it out and rinse with water. You can brush your teeth after oil pulling.



You might find turmeric staining most of the items in your kitchen. However, contrary to this, it actually carries a potent whitening effect when it comes to teeth. Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties on top of acting as a mild abrasive agent.


Wet your toothbrush and dip it into your turmeric powder. Apply it evenly on your teeth, making sure you have everything covered. To get the best results, allow the powder to sit on your teeth for around 15 minutes before rinsing and brushing.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has the ability to pull out toxins. It’s also capable of lifting off stains that are making your teeth dull. A lot of shops, both online and offline, actually sell activated charcoal powder so you wouldn’t have a hard time finding one for your teeth.


Dip your wet toothbrush in your activated charcoal powder. Be careful with this process as the charcoal can easily stain your sink. Brush the powder all around your teeth while keeping your mouth closed to minimize spillage. After you’re done brushing, you can rinse it off and proceed with how you’d normally brush your teeth.

Strawberry Paste

If you’re struggling with coffee and tea stains in your teeth, one of the best natural teeth whitening solutions you can try is strawberry paste. This fruit contains malic acid that has a potent stain-dissolving property.


Take a teaspoon of baking soda and add it to two mashed strawberries. Using your toothbrush, apply the mixture on your teeth with gentle circular motions. Take your time when brushing with this paste to get the best results. Be sure to rinse with water thoroughly and brush and floss out any remaining strawberries that can get stuck in between your teeth.

Healthy Smile

Author’s Bio:

Promoting health and wellness, Sophia spends most of her time writing about inexpensive ways to achieve optimum health. Her latest work includes electric toothbrush reviews.

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Healthy Back to School Snack Idea featuring Mickey Mouse


broccoli isolated on white background

I still can’t comprehend that it’s back to school shopping time already. Didn’t the summer just start yesterday? It would seem that way.

Some kids are returning to school in just a couple of weeks. At least my son has another month before he has to return to school. I believe my daughter (who is in college) returns around the same time.

I don’t often make my son’s lunch for school anymore. He chooses to make his own. This coming school year, depending on how his schedule works out, he might be home for lunch.

I do make things easy for him when it comes to packing a lunch. I make sure he has plenty of options including fresh fruits and vegetables and snacks. Even if he ends up eating lunch at home (which he often does) I still like to make sure he has plenty of options. That pertains to my daughter as well. Normally she’s home for lunch in between her classes and her job.

The brand Good Health has some snack options you might want to consider.

My kids LOVE Veggie Straws and Veggie Chips. They have been enjoying them for many years.

I like the Veggie Straws and Chips from Good Health because they are made with no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no hydrogenated oils and zero trans fat. In addition they are made with ingredients I can actually pronounce and understand what they are. Another words… I know what my kids are eating.

These are actually made with vegetables – tomatoes, spinach, beets, broccoli and carrots. Personally I don’t really taste the veggies, per say. I just know them as yummy, crunchy treats. My husband says he can taste the veggies, and for that reason he won’t eat them. His loss! That means more for the rest of us.

Good Health knows that not all kids are open to eating snacks made out of vegetables. Some parents have a hard enough time as it is getting their kids to eat vegetables. I’m fortunate that my kids have always loved vegetables. Even as young children they would eat thing like broccoli and spinach.

If your little ones are a bit reluctant to eat their veggies, Good Health has a snack option you might want to look into. It’s the same yummy veggie treats that they already make, but these ones are made to look like Mickey Mouse.



They are the same flavors as their other veggies chips/straws, but they are done in a fun, child-friendly Mickey Mouse shape. These are sure to be a hit with the little ones (and not so little ones – my teens love them).

Good Health has other better-for-you snack options including Half Bake Popcorn (popcorn air popped with only a touch of flavoring), Popped Chips (popped – NOT baked or fried – chips) and something I really want to try, Apple Crisps. Good Health has other snacks option as well.

These are snacks you can feel good offering to your kids. They are a better-for-you option than (fried) chips, cookies and candy. Save those kinds of snacks for special occasions.

The new Mickey Mouse shaped veggie snacks, and other Good Health snacks, can be found at many retail locations across the country. There is a location finder (“Where to Buy“) on the Good Health website too.

For more information about these and other Good Health snacks visit GoodHealthSnacks.com (that is easy enough to remember). The brand is also found on Facebook and Pinterest (the links are found on the top right of their website site).

Have you ever tried Good Health Snacks before?

What do you think about the Mickey Mouse shaped snacks? Do you think your child/grandchild would enjoy snacking on something like that? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.



*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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