The Daily Dish

life a healthy happy life

April 23, 2013
by jordanweaver

Healthy is happy

How Can You Make Breakfast Healthier?

April 23rd, 2013

Time Breakfast Jump Start Metabolism
Copyright: Shutterstock


When it comes to making a breakfast healthier you can start with timing. Skipping breakfast robs you of energy, and waiting to eat can slow your metabolism. You should eat within an hour of waking up to jump start your metabolism.

Omega-3 DHA Eggs Healthier Breakfast
Copyright: goldcirclefarms


Omega-3 helps boosts your mood, burns fat and increases your energy. Eating eggs for breakfast that contain DHA is a great way to get your Omega-3 daily dose.

Omit Butter to Make Breakfast Healthier
Copyright: freshlife

Omit Butter

Omitting butter from your breakfast can significantly reduce your cholesterol levels. Try using a healthier spread, instead, like Smart Balance or Benecol.

Fruit for a Healthier Breakfast
Copyright: marvelberry


Add fruit to your morning routine. You will enjoy the benefits of antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Try to omit that large glass of orange juice, which is usually packed with calories — unless it’s fresh squeezed.

Fresh Veggies Make Breakfast Healthier
Copyright: life123


Fresh vegetables are another great way to make your breakfast healthier. Veggies, along with fruits, protect against many ailments, like heart problems and cancers. You need at least five servings a day of fruit and veggies, so eating them at breakfast gives you a head start!

No Sugary Cereals For a healthy Breakfast
Copyright: childrenshospitalblog

Avoid Sugary and Carb-Packed Quickies

Eating sugary cereals and carb-packed items, like bagels and muffins, when you are in a hurry is not a great breakfast idea. Loading up on these types of foods causes gives you a quick sugar high that drops quickly, leaving you sluggish the rest of the day.

Oatmeal for a Healthier Breakfast
Copyright: getfityou


Eating oatmeal for breakfast has many health benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease. Oatmeal contains potassium, fiber, Omega-3 and other vital nutrients. Adding fresh blueberries or other fruit is a great way to flavor it.

Nuts Protein Healthier Breakfast
Copyright: beautifulonraw


Everyone needs protein, considering it is found in just about every part of your body. Adding lean meats, nuts and whole grains at breakfast is a great way to get your protein.

April 23, 2013
by jordanweaver

Good ole family fun

6 Green Activities for Kids

plantingtree_645With the trees blooming, birds chirping, and squirrels chattering there is no doubt that spring is finally upon us. Spring is my favorite season – Wait, no, fall is my favorite season – Wait, no, but I also love winter… and summer! Let’s just say that there are so many things I love about each of the seasons, and spring is no exception.

Spring just has this way of making you feel hopeful. The flowers which only a few short months ago wilted in the chilling air are peeking up from the ground to remind us that this planet we call home is full of such extraordinary things. Even when we are in the harshest of environments, life is not over. It too shall pass and life will, once again, be vibrant and wonderful. There is a lot to be learned from nature, and I feel like as a species we are becoming so detached from it. Not long ago I was sitting on my front porch on a beautiful sunny day while my oldest ran around asking me how tall the trees were and my new baby stared up at the sky in amazement. It was such a wonderful moment for me – both of my kids enjoying their environment. Then a woman went jogging past with an infant in a stroller whose face was buried in an electronic tablet. I always try to think positively, but this made me so sad. I realized that given the option, I think my own son might even choose to play video games over taking a walk. I’m not ok with that. So I started looking for things to do that would capture his attention, and help him appreciate nature and all that is has to offer.

There are SO many wonderful things you can do to teach your children how to appreciate and take care of the planet, but here is a list of 6 that we will definitely be doing this spring!

 1. Start a garden. If you don’t have one already, plan and start a garden of flowers, fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies. Let your kids help you pick what to plant to get them excited about it from the get-go. Cameron’s favorite fruit is watermelon and his favorite flower is sunflower; so, I made sure I planned for both of those. Include them in every bit of the process from picking your seeds to watering them every week. Not only will this teach them about how plants grow, but it will also teach them about caring after things…and you get fresh produce out of the deal!

2. Make recycled paper and art.  Remember making your own paper in grade school? Messy, yes, but so much fun! The internet has all kinds of ideas for how to make recycled paper. Find one that includes things you typically toss in the trash/recycling or have lying around your house and make something beautiful.

3. Get a bird guide. Stop for a second and listen outside. Just close your eyes and really listen for at least one minute. Even if you live in the busiest of cities, you will hear many different chirps. Then open your eyes and try to look for the birds you hear. Now you know what a blue jay, a robin, cardinal, finch, etc. sounds like! Use a bird guide to help your children do the same. Identify exactly what type of finch you just heard. Not only will they learn about the different birds, but it also teaches them how to be resourceful!

4. Volunteer to plant trees. Most areas organize at least one tree planting around Earth Day (April 22), and all you have to do is sign up or even just show up at the location. A great way to take care of the planet and help your community at the same time!

5. Go camping and hiking. And I don’t mean giant RV camping. Even if you just camp in your backyard, leave the electronics in the house and spend at least one night under the stars. Cook dinner over a fire, go on a hike before sunset, tell scary stories, listen for animals, and if the sky is clear, identify constellations. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

6. Go on a collection walk. Have everyone grab an eco-friendly bag and set out for a walk and collect litter. Have one person collect trash, one collect recyclables, and one person collect things that might be reusable for art or home projects (such as paper towel rolls and newspaper). Make sure everyone wears gloves and instruct kids to let you pick up anything that is glass or sharp.

April 23, 2013
by jordanweaver

Shh it’s a secret

The Secret Ingredient to Your New Beauty Routine: Baking Soda

A young beautiful successful blonde business woman brushing herI thought I knew everything there was to know about the crafty uses for baking soda: homemade cleaning products, detergents, and not to mention baking yummy foods! However, after some online research I found you can add baking soda to your DIY beauty product routine as well. Gosh, I love this stuff. The best part is you can get a box for a dollar at your local grocery store.

Here is a list of things you can do with baking soda at home to freshen up your beauty routine–and for a fraction of the price you’d be paying at a salon or spa!

1. Dry Shampoo: sprinkle a little bit on your roots to soak up excess oil in your hair. Bonus: You can even add it to your shampoo at home to get all that hair product build up out of your hair.

2. Facial Scrub: mix a tbsp. of baking soda in your hand with your facial cleanser to make an exfoliant. Rinse as usual.

3. Teeth Whitener: dip your toothbrush (with or without toothpaste) in some baking soda to brighten up those pearly whites. It helps with bad breath too!

4.  Dry Skin Remedy: use as a body scrub; mix 3 parts baking soda with one part water in the shower and gently scrub where you have dry skin.

5. Bath Soak:  Add a cup of baking soda to a bath. Baking soda will help clear and cleanse your skin, and can help soothe itchy or rashy skin.

Read more here. Photo Credit here.

April 23, 2013
by jordanweaver

What’s trending?

9 Better Body Trends for 2013


So, we’ve covered fitness trends and cookbooks for the new year. But, we haven’t quite focused on the overall picture. Getting a better body involves a lot more than simply jumping on a fitness bandwagon. You have to feel good inside and out. We broadened our net and scooped up the best trends spanning from beauty to diet.

  1. Laser Hair Removal: The lasers use pulsed light to break down and eliminate the dark pigment or “melanin” in hair. Some treatments even alternate between laser and radio frequencies to target the hair in its growth phase. According to various beauty sites and, there are some definite questions to ask before you decide to use this treatment. Laser treatments can cause discoloration for dark skin (Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD in the July 2004 issue of InStyle magazine).
  2. Beauty bars: Niche spas or “beauty bars” are popping up around NYC and other hot cities. They are devoted to one specialized service from makeup to blowouts. Many are walk-in friendly. Harper’s BAZAAR noted, Clear Clinic “a full service, walk-n acne treatment center”. Read more from the BAZAARhere.
  3. Anti-aging hair care products: Wrinkles aren’t the only thing a women worries reveals her age. Grey hairs are traumatizing for many. Haircare companies such as Pantene are continuing to work on anti-aging hair treatments that utilize argon oil and Vitamin E to restore your roots. Good Housekeeping tested 73 products on 579 volunteers and took more than 2,700 lab measurements, and tallied 1,055 questionnaires to find the 17 top performers that truly delivered their promise of younger looking hair. Read their results here.
  4. Argan oil: Morrocan Argan oil is all the rage as more studies are conducted on it’s health benefits. What we for sure know is that it contains tons of Omega-3s and fatty acids as well as Vitamin E. Early studies have revealed there are some connections with argan oil and heart health. But, it’s still fairly early to call this a miracle oil–as oils hardly reach deeper than surface skin (WSJ, 2012).
  5. Non-invasive surgery: Elizabeth Logan, founder and CEO of Myo Technologies believes that microcurrent treatments will be chosen over more invasive procedures this year. Here’s what she said toMSN Living, “Microcurrent treatment systematically reduces the signs of aging and wrinkles by maintaining and increasing muscle tone in three ways: circulation, microcontraction and cerebral effect. The result is what everyone is now looking for – healthier, younger, more toned and refreshed skin without Botox, surgery or other invasive treatments.”
  6. Elimination diets: So, the gluten free movement has only picked up speed as more celebs try it. Eliminating one kind of processed chemical or food group appears to be the trend in diets. From the Meditteranean diet to the Paleo diet, people are simply trying to eat cleaner.
  7. Slow cooker meals…year round: The crockpot is back my friends and it isn’t even Superbowl season. Check out our Skinny Crock Pot recipes for the healthiest, easiest meals. Click here for the recipe index.
  8. Going local: This term no longer means just buying local groceries or going to a farmer’s market every once in a while. Mom and Pop shops are seeing major benefits from this trend. People are zeroing in on one trade and opening up more microbreweries now than ever before.
  9. Juice Up: Well+Good NYC reported that, “Juices are a $5 billion business in the US and are expected to grow by 4 to 8 percent a year, according to Barron’s.” Look for boutique juice shops and high-end urban cafes cold-pressing produce–like TotalJuiceCincy!

April 23, 2013
by jordanweaver

Detox salads? Who knew?

Tropical Detox Salad


This Tropical Detox Salad recipe is seriously my new favorite!  With swimsuit season being just around the corner, I wanted to create a recipe that would be healthy and light, but also utilize the season’s fresh fruit–especially delicious grape fruit, which helps burn fat and cleanses.  The fresh fruit, coconut, and almonds in the salad pair perfectly with my homemade Skinny Sweet and Sour Dressing! Click here for the dressing recipe.


Tropical Detox Salad


Prep time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1/4 salad without dressing 


  • 2 cups fresh romaine
  • ½ cup fresh pineapple cut into small chunks
  • ½ cup fresh ruby red grapefruit, sliced (I used the Del Monte cups that you can purchase in the produce section)
  • ½ cup fresh mango, cut into small chunks
  • 2 medium kiwi, sliced
  • ¼ cup coconut flake
  • ¼ cup slivered almond slices


  1. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Serve with 1 tbsp of Skinny Sweet and Sour Dressing

Nutrition Info and Tips


Nutrition Info Per Serving (¼ salad without dressing):

Calories: 115

Fat: 5.4g

Protein: 2.8g

Carbohydrates: 16.6g

Sugars: 7.6g

Fiber: 4g

Weight Watchers Points: 3

April 22, 2013
by jordanweaver

Going green the urban way

Urban Farming: Growing a Garden in Small Spaces

urbanfarming_645Urban farming is a term that refers to growing any herbs or vegetables (and sometimes even animals) in a city or urban environment. Small spaces don’t mean that you can’t grow some kind of produce or plant for your own use. From window boxes to raised beds, as well as up cycled items like 2-liter bottles and gutters or PVC pipes, there are myriad ways to incorporate growing your own food into your life. And it’s a fantastic way to teach your children about growth cycles and develop a deeper understanding of all the work that goes into feeding our bodies.No matter how small your space, there are ways to grow fresh herbs or produce plants.

1. Grow tomatoes along a chain link fence, weaving the plant through the links. You can do the same with cucumbers and squash as they are also “vining” vegetables.

2. Cut the bottom of a 2-liter off, screw the lid back on and drill a hole in it. Secure it with two lengths of string on either side of the open end and fill with planting soil. Now you have a hanging herb garden for a window. Hang them from a balcony or fire escape and you can grow things like carrots, peas, green beans, or lettuces. Bonus: Let your children decorate the 2-liters for a personal touch!

3. Don’t forget the vertical spaces. If you have a sunny wall, you can have a garden. Using old rain gutters or lengths of PVC pipe, you can hang a garden down a wall. Plant anything that doesn’t need a deep root, like herbs or lettuces.

4. And don’t forget the space under your stairs. Anywhere that you get sunlight can be a place to grow something.




April 22, 2013
by jordanweaver

The importance of kindess

Truly Living, Truly Being: Lesson About Kindness

familyhands_645Sometimes people are intricately placed into our lives.  They come to us for a purpose that one or both of you may or may not be aware of at the time. These special people leave a mark that changes you. They change your soul, the way you look at things, and leave an imprint on your heart.At the age of fourteen, I was not thinking much about the people placed in my life. In fact, I am not so sure I did a whole lot of thinking at all in my teen years. But, fourteen was the age I was when a shy, awkward, girl moved into to an apartment in a large home a few houses away from mine.  I don’t remember meeting her for the first time but I do remember feeling the need to take her under my wing.  I cringe as I write this but it was an out-of-pity friendship.  It was obvious from the start that Amy did not have an easy life and it pulled at my heart strings. I knew that she needed a friend.  She was two years younger, from a very limited income family and socially awkward to boot.  She was a tomboy who didn’t know how to dress, most likely because the family couldn’t afford nice clothes.  She was hard to engage in conversation, but easy to make laugh.  We lived in a ritzy small town and I knew that once she started middle school it would be like feeding her to the wolves. For that one year that we lived nearby each other, I made a few feeble attempts at a friendship with her. Eventually my family moved just a few miles away, but far enough to put an end to our friendship.  By then, I had turned fifteen and entered high school and of course, with the cruel politics of high school I had become “too good” to be a friend to her.  I hang my head in shame now.

For the years that we shared a school, I would see Amy walking down the hall and I would turn away. I wouldn’t make eye contact. I would ignore her. We would ignore each other. Life went on. It went on until the summer before my senior year when Amy, Amy’s boyfriend, and Amy’s mother died in a terrible fire in that apartment in my old neighborhood. She was sixteen. She had no chance to escape. Their tiny basement apartment turned into an inferno and no one made it out alive.  In the instant that I heard the news, my life was changed forever.  I was ambushed with regret and horror of how I treated Amy.  The “shoulda-coulda-wouldas” flooded my mind and consumed me.  My heart had deepened with a combination of sadness and desperation to make all things right.  From that day forward, I vowed to be kind and to never let another person enter my life without knowing that I treated them the best that I could.

Flash forward ten years to the now.  Every person who reaches out to me is Amy.  Every friend I have is Amy.  Every homeless person on the street is Amy.  This has been both a blessing and a curse, really –one that I didn’t acknowledge until recently.  Sometimes people in need make it easy to give.  Sometimes they don’t.  Sometimes I want to be selfish.  Sometimes I don’t always want to be kind.  Sometimes I don’t always want to do the right thing for someone else.  That is when I see her.  That is when I remember her.  That is when I think about how I wasn’t a good friend to her….not even a little bit….not even at all.  I can’t go back and change the way that I treated Amy.  I can’t go back to the afternoon in July of 2002 and pull her out of that fire or give her back her life, but I can say she forever changed mine.

I write about this now, because of something that occurred the other day.  I was out shopping with a friend and a man approached us in the parking lot asking for money.  My friend ignored him and kept walking.  I stopped and listen to his story about how he needed money to eat and had nothing.  I took my wallet out. I apologized to the man because I never carry cash and all I had on me was a few dollar bills. I gave the man what I had and he thanked me and I went about my business.  Once we got into her car my friend was baffled. “Weren’t you worried about your safety? He is probably going to buy drugs!  What if he tried to mug you?” All were very valid concerns that I thought about during our brief encounter. “Why did you give him money?” she wanted to know. ‘You didn’t even hesitate. You didn’t even think about it!” and that was the very first time it occurred to me.  After all these years of trying to help people, of reaching out, of giving money (even when I really shouldn’t)….it never connected with me until I was asked right then and there “why?”  That was when I talked about Amy. How, I would never again regret the way I treated someone. I would always help in every little way that I possibly could. Amy made all the difference.

Some people are just born with a giving heart.  My father is one of them.  I will never forget the day he handed over his beloved 1989 Chevy Caprice to another family who had lost their vehicle.  He just gave his car away, because another person needed it more.  He didn’t expect anything from it, didn’t even want to talk about it.  He just did it because it was the right thing to do.  No questions asked. Miracles like this happen.  More miracles like this need to happen every day.  In an era when we fear strangers, when we fear sending our children to school, an era in which cruelty to one another is not only expected but often encouraged, maybe we just all need to step back and look at the Amys in our lives.  Maybe we just need to take a look at the people placed in our lives and evaluate why they are here.  Evaluate how you treat people.  Evaluate your daily interactions with the public, with strangers.  Is it time to start being kind? Is it time to start giving what you can or helping your neighbor?  Is it time to start truly being a good friend?  Let my hard learned lesson seep into your life and into your soul.  May it wake you up on some level!  Set a daily goal to offer kindness (in any form) to a stranger or to a neighbor, or to a friend. That is truly living. That is truly being.


April 22, 2013
by jordanweaver

DIY facial exfoliants

Kitchen Creams: DIY Exfoliators

KitchenCreams_645Wait! Before you try smearing any of that poppy seed, lime concoction on your face to get rid of the dead skin cells, listen to our experts. Rather than smelling like recycled food for a few hours, cut to the chase: what works and what doesn’t. Most of these natural remedies are based off of the texture of the material rather than the actual benefits.  Unfortunately these are no different than your average drug store scrub. After seeing so many DIY claims for exfoliated skin circling the various social media pages, we wanted to know what really works.Our resident experts for the day are Beverly Hills based dermatologist and skin expert, Vicki Rapaport M.D.and Mount Sinai School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Dermatology Debra Jaliman M.D. She is also the author of “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist.”

Here are the 5 DIY Ingredients that truly will work to exfoliate your skin:

1. Lemons

The acids and the vitamin C help exfoliate and add the antioxidant power of eating up the free radical damage in the skin. According to Dr. Rapaport, rubbing it on as pure as possible is the best way to use lemons. “The more you dilute it with other ingredients, the less potent and pure it becomes; so just squeeze it on the skin, wash in circular motions and rinse off,” recommends Dr. Rapport.

2. Pumpkins

Pumpkins have ingredients in them that are both antioxidants and excellent natural exfoliating acids. It’s high in zinc, beta carotene, as well as Vitamins A and C. The later being known antioxidants that are believed to help fight off diseases including cancer and heart disease. This will lighten and brighten your skin, while protecting them from those free radicals that age your skin.

Pumpkin is tolerable to most skin types and truly a wonder ingredient so use it up! Try this budget-friendly Pumpkin Mask from Care2 here.

3. Oatmeal

So why is oatmeal almost in all of the natural beauty treatments? Because they contain saponins, which help clean dirt and oil out of your pores. Its other great properites are moisturizing and soothing–gentle on sensitive skin. Dr. Jaliman found Our Best Bite’s Oatmeal Exfoliator to be a fabulous, effective facial:

  • 2 tsp oats
  • t tsp baking soda
  • warm water

4. Olive Oil + Sugar

Olive Oil’s properties extend beyond internal health benefits. According to research found by Discovery’s Fit&Health blog, “Olive oil is a common folk remedy for very dry skin. It’s silky smooth and does not usually cause allergic reactions [source: Kranke et al].” There have also been studies that show that it may “protect your skin against sun damage and cancer. In one study on mice, an application of extra-virgin olive oil after exposure to UVB light reduced the number of tumors the mice developed [source: Budiyanto et al].”

Try Zenfully Delicious’ Olive Oil & Sugar Face Scrub:

  • Make a semi-thick paste
  • 1 tsp sugar- use granulated sugar so the grains are finer. If using raw, use food processor to grind down the grains.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (approximate — make more or less depending on your exfoliation mission).

5. Baking Soda

Adding baking soda to you favorite cleanser enhances the exfoliation as well says Dr. Jaliman. For more ways to incorporate this missing ingredient check out our post on using baking soda in your beauty regimen (click here).

For more information on Dr. Rapaport click here. For more information on Dr. Jaliman click here.



April 22, 2013
by jordanweaver


What Does Yoga Really Work?

yogareallyworks_645Busy moms know how difficult it can be to find time for exercise, relaxation and recharging. Days spent running after little ones, organizing car pools, sports schedules, a partner or spouse’s schedule as well as your own may leave you feeling like YOU are just another chore. Is there any exercise that can help you relax, recharge and get fit all in one?


In an article written by Alisa Bauman at the Yoga Journal, no matter how you define “fitness,” yoga is enough to achieve it. From elite athletes to recent couch potatoes, the practice of yoga increases lung capacity, flexibility and alters one’s body composition.  According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are four different markers to determine “fitness.”

Muscular Fitness – This means your actual muscle strength and how much you can lift as well as your muscle endurance, which is how long you can lift it.  Seems like we should all be muscle-women after carrying around our growing babies, right?

Cardiorespiratory Fitness – This is the fitness of your heart, lungs and blood vessels. If this system is healthy and strong your body is an efficient machine, making other problems less likely.

Flexibility – As we age, we naturally become stiffer. Things like tight hamstrings can pull down on our pelvis, and that causes the lower back pain we all know and love!

Body Composition – This is the ratio of fat compared to every other body tissue, organ, muscles or bones. The medical community still maintains that too much fat and too little muscle increases your risk of disease.

Studies conducted using more than an hour (at a time) of yoga two to four days a week have determined that incorporating more aerobically challenging positions can cover your entire exercise need. Be sure to include postures like Triangle, Downward-Facing Dog, Tree Stand and Plank for maximum benefit.

Yoga can have a calming effect on busy moms. Start slowly and work towards your goal, whatever it is. Yoga is called a “practice” because it’s something we do in increments. As it boosts your mental health and physical health, let it provide you with the rest and mental clarity we so desperately need sometimes! And congratulate yourself each time for making YOU a priority.


April 22, 2013
by jordanweaver

Booty work

8 of the Best Booty-Lifting Exercises

Roxy_15_EDIT_645Are you ready to slide on the summer shorts and a bathing suit? Ready or not, summer is just around the corner! Instead of being covered in clothes this summer, spend some time covered in sweat preparing for those long summer days! Try incorporating a few of these new exercises from our friends over at into your next leg and glute training to target lifting and tightening the tush and help ease your booty into a stronger and more confident summer body!

1. Forward Lunge with Dumbbell Press. Click here to read about form and technique.Forward-Lunge-with-Dumbbell-Press

2. Forward Lunge with Dumbbells. Click here to read about form and technique.Forward-Lunges-with-Dumbbells

3. Bridges on a Foam Roller. Click here to read about form and technique.Bridges-on-Foam-Roller

4. Dumbbell Squats. Click here to read about form and technique.Dumbbell-Squats

5. Wall Squats with Dumbbells & Ball Exercise. Click here to read about form and technique.Wall-Squats-with-Dumbbells-and-Ball

6. Single Leg Hamstring Flexion with Ball. Click here to read about form and technique.Single-Leg-Lateral-Squat-with-Ball

7. Lunge & Twist with Medicine Ball. Click here to read about form and technique.Lunge-and-Twist-with-Medicine-Ball

8. Single Leg Lateral Squat with Ball. Click here to read about form and technique.Single-Leg-Hamstring-Flexion-with-Ball