Over the last several years, there has been an invasion in grocery store aisles across America. You may have heard it on the news, or read about it in your daily magazine or newspaper. You’ve probably noticed it on bookshelves, too, at your local bookstore: “gluten-free” is fast becoming as ubiquitous as the “fat-free” stamps of the 1990’s.
The rise in popularity of a gluten-free diet has millions of people across the country jumping for joy – and not because it is a weight-loss-miracle cure by any means. For those with Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), the increased availability in gluten-free products translates to a sense of relief, freedom and normalcy.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is triggered when gluten - a protein found in wheat, barley and rye - is consumed. The body reacts to gluten as an enemy combatant, and it results in damage to the villi of the small intestine (tiny hair-like projections that absorb nutrients from food). This damage can be chronic and life threatening, causing an increased risk of associated disorders – both nutritional and immune related.
Ideas of charity and helping our fellow neighbor tend to be more prevalent during the holidays, but in order to make a real difference it has to be a year round effort! Many of us want to lend a hand in some way, but it can be an overwhelming task to decide how to become a change-agent in our neighborhoods.
To assist in making the choice to act, below is a short list of opportunities during the month of May to help you decide how to take the first step and get involved!
Did you know that May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month? The goal of this month-long initiative is to encourage people to be fit and embrace a healthy lifestyle in the workplace. Here at Red Rabbit, we believe that the earlier healthy habits are formed, the better; however, it is never too late to start working toward a healthier you!
Nearly 25% of our time during any given week is spent at work, and for some of us it is even more. Our daily routines are repetitive; we might skip breakfast, and then sit at our desk for several hours before picking up something fast and unhealthy for lunch and returning to our chairs for the rest of the afternoon. All of this—combined with a few trips to the vending machine down the hall—contributes to a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.
In honor of Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, and in hopes of creating lifelong healthy behaviors, here are some tips on how to incorporate healthier habits in and out of the workplace:
Spring is the time of year for outdoor sports and recreation, picnicking...and bees! While many of us regard bees with a certain level of apprehension, not everyone always thinks about their contribution to what we put inside our picnic baskets!
From watermelon to the milk that we drink, bees play a vital role in our nation’s food supply. One way they do this is in their role transporting pollen from the anthers of a flower to the stigma of another, which enables the growth of seeds. This is the process of pollination.
Bees are not the only “pollinators.” Butterflies also pick up pollen when they stop to take a drink from a flower, and they carry that pollen to their next flower. The wind can also move pollen from plant to plant- but most of what we eat comes from plants that need a little more help than from the wind and butterflies. That’s when bees come in.
While the thermostat outside slowly rises, we all try to soak up the sun and get outside. As our outdoor activity increases, so does our thirst. Now is the perfect time to try out some great alternatives to the sugary drinks that crowd the supermarket shelves.
It can be difficult to decide what to buy when you’re grocery shopping. We have all seen the ads for sugary drinks that claim to quench your thirst, and you may be tempted to reach for the "on sale" jug of brightly colored liquid that appears to be made from fruit juice. Don’t be fooled. Many of these types of drinks are packed with empty calories, artificial flavors and high-fructose corn syrup.
A great alternative to sugary drinks is to make your own delicious and nutritious beverage. Try one of the ideas below to quench your family's thirst in a healthy way!
Cupid is in the air, and we suddenly are finding ourselves thinking about hearts, flowers, and the people we love. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the ones you love by preparing healthy treats that that they’ll adore. This year, your Valentine’s Day secret weapon is dark chocolate!
Dark Chocolate is not only a great sweet, but contains strong antioxidants that destroy free radicals in the body, protecting against ailments such as heart disease. It can also –in moderation– help to regulate high blood pressure. To be considered dark chocolate, the cocoa level must be 50-60% or greater. Using dark chocolate you’ll get the full bodied sweet taste you love, while still sticking to the healthier side.
Happy New Year, Red Rabbit friends and family! Welcome to 2013!
We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones and are looking forward to the New Year. Red Rabbit is excited for another year of serving farm fresh, nutritious meals. Together we can continue to make an impact on the health of our nation's children by promoting the importance of taking care our minds and bodies by making healthy choices.
Cookies, Cakes, and Pies galore! With the Holiday season in full swing, there is no shortage of baked goods for everyone to snack on. Start a New Year’s resolution for the family a little early this year and add a healthy twist to all of that holiday goodness. Decorations and frosting are festive and fun, but tweaking a classic recipe here and there can help make the season a little more nutritious for everyone.
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and feast with family and friends. There is so much to be thankful for, but let’s add one more item to the list – be thankful that the kids are involved! Whether traveling, cooking the turkey, baking pies, or organizing family members, Thanksgiving can quickly become a lot on your plate. Involving the kids in your Thanksgiving Day celebration may not only give you a little more time to get everything done, but also help them see what wonderful things you all have to be thankful for.
Here are a few great ways to involve the kids in this year’s Thanksgiving…
Help prepare their favorite dish
When you hear the word “soup” I bet you think of something that warms your belly and perhaps even your spirit; a food with ingredients that “comfort” you. The exact ingredients of this “food” will likely differ depending on your ethnicity and culture. If you are of Jewish ancestry, perhaps chicken noodle or matzo ball soup comes to mind, if you are English, it could be porridge, French—lentil, Italian—Italian wedding or minestrone, Mexican—gazpacho…the list goes on and on. They all use vegetables (and sometimes fruits) in combination and the feeling of comfort is their commonality.
Last week, I had planned to make my favorite soup, butternut squash—until I saw this great recipe for apple turnip soup in a cooking magazine. Hmmm…I happened to have apples and turnips in the fridge, so I thought, “how bad can it be?!...let’s mix it all up and make a combo soup!” Guess what, it turned out great! A “stick to your ribs; great for a cold day; warm up my belly” recipe that I hope I’ll be able to re-create. Actually, the point of my blog is to say that it really doesn't matter what the exact recipe is, what’s important is that you use fresh ingredients, (and by fresh I also include leftover fresh veggies and fruits from other meals or recipes, or those you happen to have lying around or leftover) and with flavorings and spices you enjoy. Curry, parsley, thyme—all are ways to bring out aromas and flavors that comfort you, and enhance the vegetables and fruits you choose to put into your homemade (or Red Rabbit) soups.