Tag Archives: baking

Gluten-Free Baking Week

Gluten-Free Baking Week

It’s Gluten-Free Baking Week, and if you or a loved one has a wheat allergy or Celiac disease, these light gluten-free recipes are perfect for the holiday season.

Get started with going gluten-free while baking with this Beginner’s Guide to Gluten-Free Flour.

Beginner’s Guide to Gluten-Free Flour
Image and Recipe via Potluck at Oh My Veggies

 

Gluten-Free Vegan Garlic Herb Focaccia Bread is perfect for munching before the big meal.

Gluten-Free Vegan Garlic Herb Focaccia Bread
Image and Recipe via Sarah Bakes Gluten-Free

 

Lighten up the holiday cookies you share with these Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles.

Gluten-Free Snickerdoodles
Image and Recipe via Fake Ginger

 

Gluten-free Chai Spiced Quick Bread is a cozy sweet treat, perfect for serving with tea.

Chai Spiced Quick Bread

 

Hearty holiday breakfast is covered with this gluten-free Broccoli Quiche with Bacon.

Broccoli Quiche with Bacon
Image and Recipe via Paleo Running Mom

 

This gluten-free Cherry and Almond Cake with fresh cherries is perfect for your family potluck.

Cherry and Almond Cake
Image and Recipe via Kitchen Sanctuary

 

Get ready to impress guests with this gorgeous gluten-free Vegan Gingerbread Bundt Cake.

Vegan Gingerbread Bundt Cake

Healthy DIY Food Gifts

Healthy DIY Food Gifts

As you get ready for the holidays, be smart about the treats you bring to loved ones with these healthy DIY food gifts.

First up are Rosemary Cheese Crackers perfect for munching. Try using whole-wheat flour!

Rosemary Cheese Crackers
Image and Recipe via Buzzfeed

 

Beautiful Homemade Extracts perfect for holiday baking make great gifts for the baker in your life.

Homemade Extracts
Image and Recipe via Spoon Fork Bacon

 

The tea-lover in your life will love this easy Chai Tea Kit jar as a gift.

Chai Tea Kit
Image and Recipe via Buzzfeed

 

The Easiest Berry Chia Jam is the perfect gift for the breakfast-obsessed person in your life.

Easiest Berry Chia Jam

The Easiest Berry Chia Jam

 

Easy appetizer at the family get-together is covered with Marinated Cheese & Olives.

Marinated Cheese & Olives ~ An Easy Appetizer or Food Gift in a Jar!

 

Add more flavor to every dish with these Flavored Salts made for gifting.

Flavored Salts
Image and Recipe via Country Living

 

Make winter meals easy for your loved ones with these 6 Homemade Soup Mixes in a Jar.

6 Homemade Soup Mixes in a Jar

National Bake and Decorate Month

National Bake and Decorate Month

It’s National Bake and Decorate Month, and with these lightened-up recipes, you don’t have to ruin your healthy eating to participate.

First up is a gorgeous Banana, Almond & Chocolate Cake that will satisfy your chocolate fix.

Banana, Almond & Chocolate Cake
Image and Recipe via Green Kitchen Stories

 

These gluten-free Cherry Pie Bars are the perfect summer treat and easier to share than a whole pie.

Cherry Pie Bars

 

 

Raspberry-Currant Yogurt Crumble Cake is a perfect afternoon snack for your sweet tooth.

Raspberry-Currant Yogurt Crumble Cake
Image and Recipe via Dolly and Oatmeal

 

This Lemon Curd Tart with Blackberries is also low-carb if you’re cutting back.

Lemon Curd Tart with Blackberries
Image and Recipe via My PCOS Kitchen

 

This Carrot Cake uses Greek yogurt in place of butter for a lighter take on the classic.

Healthy Gluten Free Sugar Free Carrot Cake

 

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt are an elevated take on your favorite.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies with Pomegranate Salt

 

Make this beautiful Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Salty Date Caramel and Coconut Cream to impress.

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Salty Date Caramel and Coconut Cream
Image and Recipe via The First Mess

Self-Care Month

Self-Care Month

It’s Self-Care Month, and if you’re not sure why self-care matters, these TED talks can explain why your emotional and physical health should be a priority.

If you’ve never focused on self-care before, these 10 habits are a great way to get started.

Taking Time for Yourself

 

Create a relaxing routine for self-care. Whether it’s herbal tea and reading a book before bed or coffee and the newspaper in the morning, taking structured time for yourself is a great way to wind down and prepare you for the next thing.

Relaxing Routines

 

Take a break from technology. Whether it’s picking up a book, heading outdoors, or just spending time with friends or family, turning off the news and social media can help you refocus on yourself.

A Break from Tech

 

If you need to be more mindful or focus on relaxation, even if it’s only for 5 minutes, find a meditation app that can help guide you.

Mindful Meditation

 

Learn something new. Cooking or baking new recipes, knitting, or playing an instrument requires you to focus but can also give you time to yourself.

Learn Something New

 

Mixing up your day-to-day routine, like taking a different route to work, can help you get out of a rut, and these little changes can help you create new neural pathways to keep the brain healthy and build new habits.

Changing Up Your Routine

Whole Grains Month

Whole Grains Month

It’s Whole Grains Month, and we can help you make hearty and cozy meals this fall with healthy whole-grain recipes.

First, learn about your favorite grains and how to cook them.

Cooking Grains
Image via Berkeley Wellness

 

Throw together these Vegan Whole-Grain Spelt Waffles for a guilt-free brunch.

Vegan Whole Grain Spelt Waffles.

 

Your lunch is covered with these 50+ Gorgeous Grain Salads


Image and recipe via Popsugar

 

Wow the family this holiday season with these beautiful Whole-Grain Oat Rolls.

Whole Grain Oat Rolls

 

This Blueberry Oatmeal Bread is sure to be a hit for breakfast or dessert.

Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

 

Need a weekend baking project? Try this Homemade Multigrain Sandwich Bread.

Homemade Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread
Image and Recipe via Whole and Heavenly Oven

 

This Healthy Barley Soup is a hearty soup perfect for your next rainy or sick day.

Healthy Barley Soup Recipe

National Bake for Family Fun Month

National Bake for Family Fun Month

It’s National Bake for Family Fun Month, so we have some healthy family favorites to help you get in the kitchen with your kids.

First up are Clean Triple Chocolate Scones that the whole family will love.

Clean Triple Chocolate Scones
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this Healthy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Healthy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Image and Recipe via Running with Spoons

 

Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies are the perfect after-school snack and activity.

Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

Make breakfast ahead of time with Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Image and Recipe via Baker by Nature

 

These Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes will be a hit with your kids.

Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

Make everyone happy with these Best Healthier Brownies in their lunchboxes.

Video and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 

Get baking on the weekends with these One-Bowl Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

One Bowl Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Image and Recipe via Running with Spoons

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Holiday Cookie Eating

Chasing Health: My Ho-Ho-Horrible Holiday Eating & Exercise Habits

I love the holiday season. In the fall and early winter, it seems like there is something special to celebrate nearly every other week. The list goes on and on, and I can’t get enough of it.

As a holiday enthusiast, I appreciate it all, from decorating, baking, and gift-buying to curling up and watching holiday-themed movies, not to mention mouth-watering smells, twinkling lights, and feeling like you’re in a magical snow globe at the first sight of flurries. Seems innocent enough, right?

Well, when I’m not watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Home Alone 2 for the 80th time, tearing up when “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” comes on the radio, or obsessing over the placement of ornaments on my tree (perfectionism strikes again), you can probably find me eating all the delicious holiday goodies that come along this time of year.

On top of turkey, ham, and the wide selection of casseroles, you get fudge, cookies, cheeseball, cheese dips, and pretty much any other finger food you can imagine. It’s amazing.

This is the time of year a lot of people take a break from their diets and indulge. It’s also the time of year when the days are short and cold, and your couch and TV seem to call your name the minute you walk through your door. (“Nicole, come catch up on The Walking Dead for the next five hours. I already set out your favorite blanket.”) It’s not a good combination.

But there is hope. Whether you overeat because your stress from the holiday grind has reached Clark Griswold level or (like me) you’ve waited all year for your mom’s chocolate crinkle cookies, you don’t have to put your healthy eating and exercise on hold.

I realize it’s hard to control yourself when you’re surrounded by fabulous snacks in every direction. I go into my family’s celebration with the same strategy every year, and it’s not a healthy one.

On Christmas Eve, I skip breakfast, make ham-and-cheese pinwheels (my decade-and-a-half-long contribution to our family’s party), nibble on the ones that don’t quite make the cut, and consider that my lunch.

An hour or two later when I’m extra hungry from skipping two meals, I help my mom set out all our delicious cookies. I’m an expert in taste-testing.

Cookie pic 2
My mom is in charge of chocolate crinkles (my all-time favorite!), peanut butter, and molasses. I’m in charge of the iced sugar cookies.

Once my aunt’s cheeseball and grandma’s fudge arrive, it’s game over. I’m usually not even hungry by the time my dad’s secret-recipe glazed ham is ready. But I somehow rally like a true holiday-eating champion and get through that meal and an equally delicious meal the next day with the other side of my family.

How does the two-day affair almost always end? With a stomachache and a tinge of regret.

Here is the fabulous spread of delicious goodies. Notice the salad and bowl of oranges. Not everything is unhealthy! Full disclosure, I skip right over both of those.
Here is the fabulous spread of delicious goodies. Notice the salad and bowl of oranges. Not everything is unhealthy! Full disclosure, I skip right over both of those.

Holidays don’t have to end in stomachaches or regret. Here are some tips based on my own worst holiday habits to help you stay on track this holiday season.

  • Don’t cut back on sleep before the big celebration. I like to stay up late any chance I get, whether there’s a special occasion or I’m just watching Netflix by myself. I’m no better than the millions of kids staying up to wait for Santa. But research shows that not getting enough sleep can make you crave the not-so-healthy foods, which isn’t good when the not-so-healthy foods are everywhere.
  • Don’t skip meals to overeat at the party later. Sometimes I think skipping breakfast and lunch gives me a free pass to fill my body with chocolate. It doesn’t. It not only puts me in the wrong mindset, but an Ohio State study suggests that doing this regularly can also affect how your body gains belly fat.
  • Don’t stand around the snack table. This is my favorite place to camp out for the afternoon, but it makes snacking a little too convenient. I probably don’t need a 10th piece of fudge, but who’s counting? (This brings me to my next point.)
  • Keep track of what you’re eating. I started tracking what I eat at the beginning of December as part of a headache diary for my migraines, and my snacking has fallen way off since then. I can only imagine how much this tracking system will help me through the holidays. Any kind of food diary can help you see how healthy or unhealthy your eating habits are.
  • Eat something healthy. Sadly, despite what Buddy the Elf tells us, the main food groups are not “candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Mix some fruits and veggies into your holiday meals and snacking options, and eat the unhealthier options in moderation.
  • Keep yourself busy with something other than food. Play games (my brother and I are quite the Catch Phrase duo) or set up a tournament. My cousins and I have hosted all kinds of championship events, everything from table tennis to Guitar Hero to rock-paper-scissors (we must have been feeling either really bored or hyper-competitive that year). The more physically active and farther from the food, the better.
  • Keep up your exercise routine (or something close to it). If you fall off, don’t feel discouraged (and don’t eat more cookies to console yourself). Just start exercising again. It’s easy to make excuses, but if you’re like me, you’ll feel better physically and mentally if you don’t ditch the physical activity.

I hope to follow at least some of these tips this holiday season and hope you do, too. I’ve already tried pretending celery is chocolate. It didn’t go so well, but I have high hopes for these other more reasonable tips.

Happy holidays!

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