All Entries For fall

Better Butternut Squash Recipes


Butternut squash is my favorite fall vegetable. I tell my kids that it's like vegetable candy, because roasting brings out its natural sweetness and reduces the need for sugar in our favorite fall deserts.
 
Consuming butternut squash adds fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A and C to your diet. Here's an easy way to pick the perfect one at most stores. For maximum efficiency, roast extra squashes and freeze the extra flesh for later use. If you're short on time, just pick up some pre-cut Butternut Squash in the freezer section at your market. Another fun tip is to grind the seeds in a coffee or spice grinder and use as a natural thickening agent in soups and stews. 
 
Celebrate fall with these butternut squash recipes. 
Posted 11/13/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 13 comments   14,608 views
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Family Circle's Healthy Thanksgiving Menu


Sacrifice neither your diet nor the traditional Thanksgiving experience with this menu. Each serving of these classic dishes contains less than 500 calories, less than 18 grams of fat and less than 800 mg of sodium.
 
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Roast: 30 mins
Get recipe 
Posted 11/13/2012  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 9 comments   8,891 views
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5 Healthy Ways to Embrace Fall


It can be easy to complain about the dark mornings, chilly temperatures and gloomy weather that fall brings. It's also the start of the holiday season, which can be cheerful (presents, family and fun!) or dreadful (food, stress and calories!), depending on your viewpoint. But if you look on the bright side, this season of changes has a lot to offer when it comes to your health and fitness.
 
In fact, according to SparkPeople.com polls with more than 5,000 responses each, fall is a clear winner for exercising outdoors (46%) and offering the best activity options (47%) of all the seasons.
 
So how can you avoid the pitfalls and let this season work in your favor—so that you get fitter and healthier and continue reaching your goals?
Posted 11/7/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 30 comments   76,852 views
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Do You Really Need a Flu Shot? (Everything You Need to Know about the Vaccine)


Fall is here. Apples are in season. Leaves are falling. Pumpkin just begs to be baked into a pie.
 
But with all of those good things comes at least one not-so-good thing: the flu.
 
Flu season can begin in October and end as late as May, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza is caused by viruses and because these can change, each flu season is a different. Individuals also are affected differently by the flu, including fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea or respiratory distress. Typically the worst cases are in people 65 or older. CDC estimates of flu-related deaths between 1976 and 2007 range from 3,000 to 49,000, and in a normal year, about 90 percent of deaths are in people older than 65.
 
Several years ago, swine flu – the H1N1 virus – hit the U.S. and caused a great deal of concern because it seemed to strike pregnant women and younger adults much harder than the typical flu virus. Odd flu seasons like that are when you start seeing headlines about the flu killing people and urging people to get vaccinated against the virus.
 
But the CDC and other health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a flu vaccine every year for anyone older than 6 months. The vaccine especially is important for people who might develop complications, such as pneumonia, from the flu – this includes people older than 65 or people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses – as well as pregnant women and anyone caring for someone who might be struck harder than normal with the flu.
 
How does the vaccine work?
Posted 11/1/2012  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 107 comments   32,605 views
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12 Savory Pumpkin Recipes


In my home town, near San Francisco, orange and black is bursting forth and its not just because the Giants won the World Series. Halloween pumpkins have arrived! These colorful gourds come in all different shapes, colors and sizes, but they're not just for decorating. Pumpkins are a delicious base in many savory dishes. A simple one-cup serving gives almost double the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Beta-Carotene, not to mention vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, potassium and fiber too.  Look for smaller pumpkins with minimal blemishes. They should be heavy for their size with stems intact. Pumpkin can be boiled, baked or steamed. Instead of tossing the pumpkin seeds, roast them for a delicious snack or topping.   Cook double or triple the amount you need for your recipe and freeze the rest. Enjoy each bite of these savory pumpkin recipes. 
Posted 10/31/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 7 comments   18,577 views
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7 Veggie-Packed Meals for Fall


Easy ways to turn vitamin-packed veggies into healthy, delicious dinners.
 
BLT Pasta
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes 
Posted 10/23/2012  10:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 18 comments   28,020 views
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More Fall Favorites for Every Budget


I'm not one who loves a lot of stuff, and I'm constantly trying to get rid of things rather than amass them. That said, when I find something I love, I want to share. Today I'm spreading the word about some of the products that I love this fall.
Posted 10/16/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 24 comments   9,739 views
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12 Songs to Energize Your Fall Workouts


Are you struggling to stick to your fall workouts now that the weather is turning cold and the mornings and evenings are getting darker? You're not alone.
 
My favorite way to get excited about working out is a simple one: I update my workout playlist. With some new get-up-and-get-moving tunes ready, I hit "play" instead of hitting snooze; and I re-energize my runs instead of relaxing at home.
 
Pull out your tunes, put in your earbuds, and put the fun back into your workouts with these song ideas.
Posted 10/10/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 59 comments   55,447 views
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Tap into the Potential of Taproots This Fall


By definition, a taproot is the single root of a plant that extends deep into the soil to supply the above-ground plant with nutrients.  My definition of a taproot is YUM! It is such a shame these vegetables are grown below ground because many are just too pretty to hide.  Maybe that's their plan: to hang out underground and develop earthy flavor notes and then when plucked from the earth it's like a walk down the red carpet showing off their textured and colorful skin. Taproots such as parsnips, beets, carrots, and celery root have been around for ages and still shine as cooler weather favorites. 
I love what a little cool weather can do to sweeten up parsnips and how a hot oven will transform the  flesh into to a golden sweet vegetable dish. 
 
Look for different varieties of taproots at your local market and follow the guide below to incorporate them into all your fall and winter meals. 
Posted 10/8/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Meg Galvin : 16 comments   11,066 views
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Fabulous Fall Salads


As the trees begin to change color, I'm reminded of so many dishes I love to cook. Fall is a busy time with back-to-school, sports, and after-school activities. To maintain a healthy rhythm, I turn to soups and salads that are quick and nutritious. Start with seasonal dark green leafy veggies at your local grocer or farmer's market. Create a base of arugula, lettuce, and/or kale, and top it off with peppers, corn, beets, and cucumbers. Mix in fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and parsley to taste. Don't forget a splash of sweetness with apples pears, figs, and grapes. You can also add protein and crunch with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, fish, boiled egg, and beans. Enjoy these fabulous fall salad recipes from SparkRecipes
Posted 10/3/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Samantha Donohue : 11 comments   24,188 views
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New from Chef Meg in September


September marked a bittersweet month for many parents, including Chef Meg. She loves her summers at home with her teenage boys, but now they're all back to school--and Chef Meg, too. They've been loving BBQ flavors in their household, so she created a BBQ shrimp dish that's ready in 12 minutes! Her slow cooker is in high demand, and her hearty bean and spinach soup will be a lifesaver on busy nights.

Three of Meg's recipes this month were chips. Get this--they're almost fat-free, and they can be made in the microwave. They're crispy like kettle chips, and you can customize the flavors. Yum!
Posted 10/2/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 5 comments   8,231 views
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39 Meat-Free Recipes for World Vegetarian Day


Happy World Vegetarian Day! In honor of this Meatless Monday and the annual day to kick off a month of plant-based eating, we're sharing some of our favorite veg recipes. They're yummy and filling, perfect for meat eaters and veg'ns alike!

Did you know that about 3% of Americans are vegetarian and about 1% are vegan, meaning they don't eat meat, dairy, eggs or anything else that comes from an animal.
  1. 2-Bean Sweet Potato Chili
  2. Baked Falafel
  3. Bruschetta-Stuffed Mushrooms
  4. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
  5. Cheesy Spinach Enchiladas
Posted 10/1/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 11 comments   16,487 views
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Stuff We Love: Coach Nicole's Fit Picks for Fall


My favorite season is in full swing! Complain as I may about the rain, chillier nights and the dark mornings, I still love fall. The welcomed drop in temperature encourages me to get out and run, walk and bike more (without losing half my body weight in sweat); the changing leaves don't hurt either. How about you?
 
I'm embracing the season and finding new ways to stay motivated to eat right and keep on exercising. After all, if you're going to make health and fitness a lifestyle, you have to continuously find ways to get excited about your program.
 
Here are some of the fitness products, apparel, foods and otherwise healthy pursuits that I'm excited about right now. Hopefully some of them will help YOU stay on track, too!
Posted 9/28/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 42 comments   20,613 views
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Chef Meg's Latest Recipes


Summer is winding down, which means we're starting to work on fall and even holiday recipes in the SparkPeople test kitchen (aka Chef Meg's kitchen). Our healthy cooking expert created a no-fail creamy hummus recipe, with a whole-wheat flatbread to pair with it. And, for a quick, kid-friendly, late summer meal, you'll want to try the BBQ Chicken Flatbread.

I've heard rave reviews about her cilantro-lime steak salad. The trick is to marinate the meat in the morning, make the salad while you're waiting for the grill to heat up, and dinner is ready in no time!

Slimmer Sausage and Peppers: This hearty yet better-for-you dinner is perfect for a camping trip, a cookout with friends, or just dinner on a Wednesday night.  
cals: 292.5   fat: 11.6 g   protein: 15.9 g   carbs: 35.4 g   fiber: 2.3 g
Posted 9/6/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 6 comments   12,318 views
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Poll: Which Season is Your Favorite for Outdoor Exercise?


Fall will be here in just a couple weeks, which means we should be experiencing cooler temperatures very soon! During the hot summer months, many people take their workouts indoors to escape the heat, including myself. With the cooler weather that accompanies the fall season though, it's a great time to get back outside for some of your workouts.
 
Posted 9/6/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 145 comments   21,094 views
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