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New research calls pistachios superfood for people with desk jobs

(BPT) – Recent research is giving the 86 percent of Americans who sit all day at their jobs new reasons to reach for a handful of nuts while at work, and in particular, pistachios. Adding to an increasing volume of research around the health benefits of pistachios, one study and a national survey in the U.S. suggest a snack of pistachios might boost brain power and concentration levels at work.

Pistachios helped office workers stay focused until lunchtime

In a national survey, 1,000 American office workers who skipped breakfast consumed a snack of 42 grams (1 and 1/2 serving size) of pistachios between 9 and 11 a.m. Ninety-two percent of the participants said they are “distracted from their tasks at work due to hunger before lunch.” Eighty percent said they usually get hungry in the mornings before lunch and think about food often or every day.

The midmorning snack of pistachios proved to be just what they needed to power through the morning. Ninety-two percent of the participants reported the pistachio snack helped improve their concentration at work as stated in the study, “somewhat or greatly.”

That’s not surprising, according to Dr. Mike Roussell, nutrition expert and adviser. “Skipping breakfast is never a good idea, but even with a good breakfast and lunch, hunger pangs and stress-driven hunger can be distracting, leading to unhealthy snacking habits.”

Roussell says pistachios are an ideal midmorning or midafternoon snack because of their unique nutrient package that not only promotes feelings of fullness and satiation, but also, newer studies show, can promote an optimal mental state and more focus at work.

Increasingly, people with desk jobs are looking for a healthier snack alternative to the usual donuts and vending machine fare. Ninety percent of the survey’s participants said they believe the snack of pistachios is healthier than their usual snack. The study involved office workers in the Northeast, South, Midwest and Western U.S. who snack at their desk two or more times a week at midmorning.

Pistachios may have a role in improved brain function

Loma Linda University (LLU) researchers found that eating nuts on a regular basis enhances brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, learning, memory, recall and other key brain functions. While the research studied multiple nuts, pistachios produced the greatest gamma wave response, which is critical for enhancing cognitive processing, information retention, learning and perception.

In the study, electroencephalograms (EEG) were taken to measure the strength of brainwave signals. EEG wave band activity was then recorded from nine regions of the scalp associated with cerebral cortical function.

“This study provides significant beneficial findings by demonstrating that nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body,” said the study’s principal investigator, Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH, associate dean for research at the LLU School of Allied Health Professions, in an interview featured in the November 2017 issue of LLU’s publication, Today. An abstract of the study was presented at Experimental Biology 2017 in San Diego, California, and published in the FASEB Journal.

The workplace-snacking survey and health-benefit studies add to a growing base of pistachio research, solidifying that pistachios have all the ideal qualities for a go-to workplace snack.

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5 tips from a tea expert to brew the perfect cup

(BPT) – For most of us, a little evening downtime is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. After a hectic day of work, commutes, kids and dinner prep, we deserve to take a moment to slow down and enjoy some hard-earned “me time.”

Instead of using this time to stream your favorite show or scroll through social media, try a gentle and relaxing activity that puts your focus on the present moment and makes this time truly enjoyable.

“For a relaxing end-of-day activity, there’s nothing quite like preparing and savoring the perfect cup of herbal tea,” says Stephen Twining, whose family founded the world-famous tea brand, Twinings of London, in 1706.

The steps we take to prepare and enjoy our perfect cup of tea can help us unwind and feel refreshed, Twining says. Tea releases pleasing scents, the warm brew makes comforting sensations as we wrap our fingers around the mug and take sips, and there’s the deep and satisfying flavors of the tea itself.

Of course, when we’re engaged in a mindful activity, it’s that much easier to let go of daily stress and transition into a more relaxed state. Follow these five tips from Twining to brew your favorite cup of herbal tea, and try making this a part of your end-of-day ritual.

1. Start fresh: The perfect cup of tea starts with a clean mug and a clean kettle of fresh, cold water. Never reuse water that’s already been boiled, because that can weaken the tea’s flavor, Twining says.

2. Don’t over-boil: As soon as the water reaches a boil, it’s time to remove the kettle from the heat source.

“I never let the water over-boil because in doing so, you will cause the oxygen in the water to be reduced, making the tea taste ‘flat,’” Twining says. For that reason, he recommends not using a microwave to boil the water.

3. Savor the moment: Set the tea bag in the mug before you add hot water, pouring it directly onto the tea bag. Just then, it starts releasing its herbal scent, so make sure you take a moment to inhale and relax while enjoying the aroma. Twinings offers a range of herbal teas each expertly blended to provide the perfect balance of taste, flavor and aroma. For example, Buttermint has a refreshing blend of peppermint leaves combined with the creamy flavor of vanilla for a smooth taste and rich aroma, perfect for helping you unwind.

4. Wait for the perfect flavor: Many people make the mistake of thinking that once the brew darkens, it’s ready to drink. However, Twining says color merely washes off the tea leaves early in the process, so don’t let the appearance mislead you. To make sure the flavors fully develop, know how much time your tea needs to brew, and keep an eye on the clock. Herbal teas should steep for a full four minutes.

5. Customize and enjoy: Hopefully, you will find your perfectly brewed cup of herbal tea needs no embellishment because the expertly blended herbs and flowers will provide all the flavor you need. But as Twining says, “The best cup of tea is the one you like the most,” so feel free to make adjustments. The recommended add-ins for herbal teas are honey, sugar or a squeeze of lemon — do not add milk or cream. For a deeper flavor, let the tea steep a minute or two longer.

After a long day, you definitely earned this moment, so make sure you take time to enjoy it. If you’re interested in exploring Twinings’ complete line of herbal teas, visit twiningsusa.com.

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Why probiotics should be part of your routine in 2018

(BPT) – At the turn of the calendar, many people begin taking action on what they plan to accomplish in the new year. Some have resolved to take up a new hobby, to save more money, to travel and, of course, to improve their health.

New eating plans and gym memberships are common steps people take toward their health goals, but there are other effective ways to improve your health — like adding probiotics to your daily regimen. You’ve likely heard of probiotics before, but do you know how they benefit your health and how to select the right one for you? This article can help.*

What is a probiotic?

Before delving into how probiotics can help your body, let’s first explain what they actually are. In the simplest terms, probiotics are the good bacteria (live microorganisms) that live inside your digestive tract and help your body to function properly. There are many different types of probiotics, and each one performs a different function in your digestive system.*

The billions of bacteria that live inside your digestive tract are often called “microflora,” or more correctly, “microbiota,” and the environment that they work together to create inside the body is called the microbiome. Maintaining proper balance within your microbiome is crucial for overall health.*

How do probiotics help?

The beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract are influenced by a variety of factors such as stress, medication use, traveling and poor diet. Therefore, it is important to prioritize diet and lifestyle to maintain proper gut ecology. Probiotics are also effective for maintaining healthy populations of beneficial bacteria. Numerous clinical studies have shown probiotics have positive effects on health, including assisting in the digestion of food and the absorption of nutrients and contributing to immune system health. Some studies have suggested that certain beneficial strains may also support brain function.*

Probiotics in your diet

Probiotics are found in many foods you may enjoy every day including yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. However, due to food processing and packaging, maintaining the stability and potency of the live beneficial bacteria in these foods can be a challenge. Including probiotic supplements in your routine ensures a consistent dose to help you and your family maintain optimal health.*

Finding the right probiotic supplement for you

Probiotic supplements can help support health at any age — from infancy to adulthood. When it comes to selecting the probiotics for you and your family, the best options are those that are formulated based on clinical research. Genestra Brands offers a comprehensive line of clinically studied, effective probiotic strains that have been recommended by doctors for more than 20 years. With more than 25 gluten-free, non-GMO formulas, Genestra Brands’ probiotics offer personalized support to help make your New Year’s resolution of becoming a healthier you that much easier.*

Before you begin taking any type of probiotic, speak with your doctor and/or pharmacist about whether they are safe and right for you.

To learn more about probiotics designed with you in mind, visit genestrahmf.com.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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3 formerly misunderstood foods now a part of a well-balanced diet

(BPT) – Throughout history, misconceptions, misinformation and popular culture have influenced Americans’ eating habits. Many foods that were previously eaten daily are now considered unhealthy. Conversely, some foods that were thought to be “bad for you,” are now considered nutritious.

“Nutrition is exciting. Just about every day there is new research about how certain foods work in our body,” says Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner. “Over time as research is done, foods that were once considered unhealthy can be found to actually play a key role in healthy diets.”

What historically “unhealthy” foods are now considered wholesome? Blatner provides some examples:

Eggs

Shunned for many years, eggs were believed to be bad for heart health due to high cholesterol levels. However, numerous studies have shown that intake of dietary cholesterol has little influence on blood cholesterol levels. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health states that the biggest influence on blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats and carbohydrates in your diet — not the amount of cholesterol you take in from food.

Today, eggs are part of a healthy diet — so much so that recently the country’s leading weight loss service announced that eggs are now included on its zero points list. Keep in mind, though, that not all eggs are created equal. When shopping for eggs, look for Eggland’s Best eggs, which have significantly more nutrition than ordinary eggs.

“Many health and nutrition organizations are finally recognizing eggs for the nutrient powerhouse they are,” says Blatner. “Eggland’s Best eggs have six times more vitamin D, more than double the omega-3s and more than double the vitamin B12 of ordinary eggs, making them the best egg option to maximize your nutritional intake.”

Nuts

Snacking on nuts today is typically considered a healthy way to keep hunger pangs at bay, but it wasn’t always that way. Nuts used to have a bad reputation for being high in fat and calories, and were often avoided, especially for people who wanted to lose weight.

Today, many nuts are considered the ideal nutritious snack as they contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. For example, the versatile almond is relatively low in calories when compared to other nuts and has more calcium than other varieties, according to Health.com. Plus, almonds are rich in fiber and vitamin E, an important antioxidant.

“Nuts can make a great snack or wonderful addition to recipes,” says Blatner. “The one thing to be mindful of is sodium intake. Opt for raw nuts or dry-roasted varieties. These are minimally processed and typically won’t contain the salt and oils you’ll find in other varieties.”

Carbohydrates

Due to empty calories and low nutritional value, cutting carbs has been at the heart of diet fads for decades. The problem with this is that it assumes all carbs are equal, which is false.

“The important thing to realize is there are high-quality and low-quality carbs,” says Blatner. “Instead of shaming all carbs, focus on high-quality sources of carbohydrates that fuel the body and give you energy — skip the refined grains like white bread and focus on whole grains.”

Want to try a recipe that uses some of these formerly misunderstood foods? Blatner shares one of her favorites.

Eggland’s Best Spinach & Avocado Egg Sushi

Makes two servings.

Ingredients:

2 Eggland’s Best Eggs (Large), 1 tablespoon milk, 1 dash of salt, 1 dash of ground black pepper, 1 large whole wheat tortilla (12 inch), 1/2 avocado (mashed), 1 cup fresh baby spinach

For the spicy sauce:

Mix 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or other hot sauce) and 1 teaspoon milk in a small bowl.

Directions:

Coat a 10-inch nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat on medium-low heat.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper.

Pour egg mixture into pan and cover with a lid. Do not scramble! Cook until set (about 3-4 minutes), flip and finish cooking (about 1-2 minutes).

Lay tortilla flat and spread with avocado, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges.

When eggs are finished cooking, place in the center of the tortilla and top with spinach.

Start at one end and roll tightly, but gently.

Coat the same skillet with nonstick spray and warm on medium-high heat.

Place roll seam-side down on skillet and brown slightly on both sides. Remove and allow to rest for 1-2 minutes.

Using a serrated knife, slice 1-inch pieces, drizzle with spicy sauce and serve with chopsticks.

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Healthy half-time snacking tips from a pro

(BPT) – Healthy snacking and making good food choices can be difficult any time of the year, but it can be especially tough during the big game. Business Insider reports that only 80 percent of people who start a New Year’s resolution keep that resolution through February. This happens to correspond with the biggest football game of the year and the common food temptations that go along with it — chicken wings, chips and salsa, pizza, not to mention beer.

Bryan Snyder, registered dietitian and nutrition director for the Denver Broncos, who is responsible for keeping the year-round nutrition strategies for the team’s players on track, also knows the pitfalls for the fans. “I advise people trying to eat healthier to follow a sustainable meal plan.”

Snyder describes a sustainable meal plan as one that allows some flexibility to have a meal here and there that might have a higher calorie intake.

“I often see people go from eating a poor diet and choosing unhealthy snacks, in combination with not exercising, to all of a sudden deciding to work out every day and eat perfectly every meal. The issue that can arise from that behavior is that it isn’t a sustainable plan, and it doesn’t allow any room for those big game snacks.”

Snyder’s recommendation is to find a nice middle ground. Allow yourself to sneak in some of those not-so-healthy calories on game day, but also give yourself some healthier options that you can have while keeping a guilt-free conscience.

Snyder’s snack of choice? Pistachios. “Pistachios are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, which will help you feel full and prevent you from overeating during the big game, and give you an immune system boost as well.”

Other healthy options are pita chips with hummus, vegetables with vegetable dip, bison or turkey burger sliders, popcorn, baked sweet potato fries, or a cup of turkey chili. For those who can’t imagine game day without wings, Snyder suggests baking the wings instead of deep-frying to replace some of the unwanted and unnecessary fats.

“Oftentimes we want to eat healthier, but we simply don’t know what to eat,” says Snyder. “All of these options are healthy swaps for satisfying game day enjoyment.”

Snyder recommends, too, having a backup plan if you’re going over to someone else’s house to watch the game, as this can be one of the biggest pitfalls to straying from a diet. “Don’t give yourself an excuse to eat poorly. Take along some portable healthy snacks — such as healthy bars, trail mix or pistachios — to be sure you have options and don’t indulge in hours of unhealthy snacking.”

While it is certainly understandable and sometimes difficult to eat healthy during the big game, it is something that can be done with the right planning and preparation, according to Snyder.

“One other common misconception about healthy snacking is that you have to sacrifice great taste,” warns Snyder. “Follow this game plan, and I guarantee you won’t.”

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Make your chip and dip a little more hip

(BPT) – Savvy hosts and hostesses know that the keys to a successful soiree are a room filled with laughter and delicious treats served. If you’re hosting a special event with friends and family, impress and delight your guests with fresh, new takes on the classics.

Here are some ideas for a simple, yet indulgent, chip buffet:

* Vary the chip choices. It’s hard to beat the classic potato chip at any snacking occasion. Make your snacks special by adding crispy kettle cooked chips to the mix. Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips are cooked in small batches to create extra crunch in 11 flavors, from better-for-you Lightly Salted Olive Oil & Herbs to a spicy Jalapeño.

* Play with presentation. Bowls are a tried-and-true way to serve chips, but try some Pinterest-worthy ideas like glass jars for guests to see all the delicious flavors, mini apple baskets with metal scoops for a rustic look or individual take-out boxes for your guests to quickly grab.

* Do it up with dip. Dips and spreads dress up a potato chip and when you’re entertaining a crowd, the more the merrier! Serve the classics like French onion, spinach and artichoke and baked brie, all of which are simple to prepare and can even be prepped a day ahead of time. To really impress your guests, mix in a few out-of-the-ordinary recipes such as a Jalapeño Pimento Cheese dip.

Jalapeño Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:

1 bag Lay’s Kettle Cooked Chips

8 ounces jalapeño cheddar cheese, grated

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

4-ounce jar of pimentos, drained and chopped

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 cup pickled jalapeños, drained and chopped

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions:

Using a food processor or grater, shred cheddar cheese.

Add chopped pimentos, chopped jalapeños, cayenne powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, mayo and 1/4 cup thick Greek yogurt. Mix until combined. Depending on texture you want, add more Greek yogurt.

Stir in lemon juice.

Serve with Lay’s Kettle Cooked Original or 40% Less Fat Jalapeño Cheddar Chips.

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Start the year strong with this high-performance vegetable

(BPT) – Chasing a place on the podium isn’t possible without the proper fuel for your body. Whether you’re going for the gold or just passing the pigskin in honor of the big game, athletes and amateurs alike need the right combination of nutrients to take on their training, and sports nutritionists across the nation are recommending one vegetable in particular to get them there — potatoes! Here’s why:

* Carbohydrate — Potatoes are a nutrient-dense vegetable with 26 grams of quality carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important for optimal physical and mental performance as the primary fuel for your brain and a key source of energy for muscles. And, because your body’s own stores of carbohydrates are limited and may be depleted — even in a single session of intense and/or prolonged exercise — it’s important to replenish them.

* Potassium — Did you know a medium-sized potato with the skin has more potassium than a medium-sized banana? A medium (5.2 ounce) skin-on potato contains 620 mg of potassium, an important electrolyte that aids in muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines mention potassium as an under-consumed nutrient of concern, and recommend consuming foods with high levels of potassium such as white potatoes.

* Energy — Potatoes are more energy-packed than any other popular vegetable. Adequate energy intake supports optimal body functions and it’s critical to take in the appropriate number of calories to match the demands of the day, especially while training.

Partial to pasta or rice? With as much — if not more — of several essential vitamins and minerals found in spaghetti, brown rice or whole wheat bread, potatoes are a smart addition to your other favorite performance foods (compared on a per-serving basis). What’s more, a medium Russet potato with the skin has more vitamin C and potassium than a medium sweet potato.

There is a medal-worthy potato option to fit your tastes (and schedule) no matter what sport is your specialty. Leslie Bonci, registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for the Kansas City Chiefs and the WNBA, says, “I love potatoes for their versatility, affordability and applicability to all types of culinary options. The carbohydrate, fiber and potassium make them a great choice for workouts and offer a change of pace and taste from other sports-focused foods.” She created a recipe for portable and crunchy On-the-Go Potatoes for a quick savory snack for mid-hike or mid-bike that’s ready in just about 30 minutes. Gearing up for a busy week? Make a batch of On-the-Go Potatoes on Sunday and freeze them. Defrost throughout the week by leaving in the refrigerator overnight, and then simply re-heat in the toaster oven (or enjoy cold).

On-the-Go Potatoes

Yield: 8 servings (about 5 potatoes per serving)

Ingredients:

24 oz. petite yellow potatoes (about 40 petite potatoes)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cup panko crumbs

1/4 cup tuxedo sesame seeds

2 teaspoons Chinese 5-Spice seasoning mix

Directions:

Put potatoes in a bowl and toss with the olive oil and soy sauce. Mix to coat well.

In a separate bowl, combine panko bread crumbs, sesame seeds and 5-spice seasoning and mix well.

In small batches, put the potatoes in the bread crumb mixture and roll around to coat well.

Transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through.

Nutrition

Per serving (8 servings; about 5 potatoes per serving): Calories 174, Fat: 5.7 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 257 mg, Carbohydrates: 26.8 g, Fiber: 2.5 g, Potassium: 485 mg, Protein: 4.3 g, Vitamin C: 7 mg

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5 physician-approved nutrition tips to look and feel your best

(BPT) – Looking and feeling your best go hand in hand. When you take charge of your well-being, you’ll feel healthier inside and out. Small efforts every day add up to a big impact.

“By taking specific steps each day, you can optimize your beauty hormones,” says Dr. Shelena Lalji, founder of Dr. Shel Wellness & Aesthetic Center and medical advisor to Douglas Laboratories. “These hormones help boost your overall appearance. Features like your skin, hair and nails suddenly look stronger, younger and more radiant than ever.”

Dr. Shel says the following five steps can help jump-start your beauty hormones so you can look your best whether you’re in your 20s or 60s:

Step 1: Follow a plant-based paleo eating plan.

Your diet directly affects how you feel on the inside and how you look on the outside. Cut out dairy, sugar, gluten and alcohol to reduce inflammation internally and externally. Boost your intake of fresh organic produce, striving for at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A simple rule is, the more variety of colors you eat, the more nutrients your body receives.

Step 2: Balance your hormones through supplementation.*

Talk with your health care practitioner about adding nutritional supplements that can help support beauty hormones and skin health.* Some of Dr. Shel’s favorites include:

Ultra HNS, a blend of high dose biotin, methylfolate, vitamin C, zinc and Cynatine(R) HNS, a patented, solubilized keratin for the health of hair, nails and skin. Cynatine(R) HNS has demonstrated that it can improve the strength, brightness and appearance of hair, nails and skin, as well as reduce hair loss associated with washing.*

Skin Nourish, a special skin nutrient blend containing polyphenolic compounds from grape seed, superoxide dismutase (SOD) from melon, vitamin C and zinc which are primary and secondary antioxidants that support the appearance of radiant skin color, contrast and integrity.*

Skin Protect, a clinically studied combination of the antioxidants carnosic acid, lycopene, phytoene and phytofluene to promote smooth, healthy skin from the inside out, while helping to protect from damage caused by UV sunlight exposure and environmental stresses.*

Hydrolyzed Collagen Plus, a unique formulation for skin and joint health. Collagen peptides with hyaluronic acid and co-factors support the appearance of healthy skin by promoting collagen production, skin elasticity and hydration, while lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.*

Finally, daily probiotics and vitamin C support overall well-being while supporting a healthy immune system.* Learn more at www.douglaslabs.com/HealthyAging.

Step 3: Identify and avoid food sensitivities.

You’re likely sensitive to some foods and don’t even know it. Pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. Does cheese make you feel sluggish? Does processed food make you feel bloated? To learn more, ask your doctor about running an allergy and food-sensitivity test. Then make adjustments to your nutrition as needed. If a test is not readily available, begin by cutting out processed foods including sugar, gluten and dairy.

Step 4: Focus on daily detoxification activities.

Start each day with a cup of room-temperature water with lemon to eliminate toxins from the liver and balance the body’s PH levels and get alkalinized. Exercising each day also supports detoxification, getting the heart pumping and organs working to flush pollutants that come from daily exposure.

Step 5: Keep calm.

Stress impacts cortisol levels, suppresses the immune system and causes hormonal imbalance. Plus, it affects your overall happiness. Fortunately, managing stress is in your control. Simple deep breathing techniques and daily meditation can help you feel centered and in control. In addition, make adequate time for rest and sleep each night (at least 7 to 8 hours per night) so your body can heal and recharge. Your cortisol will start balancing out.

“Transforming your health both inside and out will boost your self-confidence so you feel your best,” says Dr. Shel. “From smart supplements to daily detox, you’ll look amazing no matter your age.”

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Preparing for a party? Try these 4 tips

(BPT) – It’s important not to allow the stress of entertaining large groups to become a burden. Below are four tips to help organize a kitchen and host with ease, creating a functional space for family and friends to enjoy.

Plan ahead

Set aside time early in the week to plan the menu, from simple appetizers to the main entree. Grocery shopping apps allow the family to share and build lists together — which can help avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store. Also, try to identify dishes that can be prepared in advance so more time can be spent away from the kitchen when guests arrive.

Maximize storage and counter space

Optimize counter space by designing small stations for easy access to the necessities. A coffee bar “nook” complete with cups and mugs can help kick-start a busy day. Storage near the fridge should be stocked with foil and containers, ideal for packing up leftovers after a large party. Reserve the island counter for meal prep and the cabinets below for serving ware and glassware storage.

Keep all staples in arm’s reach

Cooking can be made simple by organizing the essentials. Keep similar tools together, such as bakeware and cookie sheets in one drawer, and pantry staples in another. Spices and herbs should be alphabetized and stored near the stovetop to effortlessly add flavor. For those with design in mind, opt for open shelves to showcase dishes and small kitchen accessories, such as succulents and cookbooks, while keeping everything within reach.

Simplify kitchen cleanup

Cleaning is often the most time-intensive chore in the kitchen, but if designed right, can be a breeze for home entertainers and kids alike. The Delta Foundry Kitchen Faucet offers laser-like precision to contain splatter, meaning less soaking, scrubbing and shirt swapping.

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Say goodbye to winter blues with vitamin D-rich foods

(BPT) – Winter got you down? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is estimated to affect 10 million Americans, according to Psychology Today. Another 10 percent to 20 percent may have mild SAD.

Even if you don’t have diagnosed SAD, it’s not uncommon to have bouts of the winter blues. There are many reasons people experience a “winter funk:” cold weather, little sunlight, shorter days, limited outdoor activity, etc.

Additionally, between the months of November and March, the lack of vitamin D absorption from the sun can be taxing on your immune system and may also be contributing to your winter blues.

Dubbed “the happy vitamin” by some researchers, vitamin D could be the key to turning seasonal frowns upside-down. Maintaining vitamin D levels during the cold winter months may help keep you healthy during cold and flu season while also boosting your mood.

What’s more, vitamin D may help you maintain a healthy weight. It’s no secret that many people experience weight gain due to the flood of comfort foods available during cooler months. This, paired with lower physical activity, causes many people to put on a few winter pounds.

According to a study quoted in Men’s Health, a University of Minnesota doctor found that people with adequate vitamin D levels lost more weight than those with low levels, even though all study participants reduced their calorie intake equally.

To get all the benefits of vitamin D, start by adjusting your diet. Vitamin D occurs naturally in eggs and oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, but it’s important to look for foods that contain even higher levels of vitamin D to naturally boost your intake, especially in the winter.

“Food is quite literally one of the best medicines out there when it comes to improving your mental and physical health,” says registered dietitian nutritionist, Dawn Jackson Blatner. “One of my favorite tips for boosting Vitamin D intake is to simply swap out ordinary eggs for Eggland’s Best eggs, since you’ll automatically get six times more vitamin D — it doesn’t get any easier than that!”

In addition to added vitamin D, Eggland’s Best eggs provide superior nutritional benefits such as 10 times more vitamin E, double the omega-3s, more than double the vitamin B12 and 25 percent less saturated fat than ordinary eggs.

A healthy diet that uses mood-boosting ingredients doesn’t have to be boring. Get creative in the kitchen and try new recipes featuring vitamin D-rich ingredients like this BLT Salmon Caesar Salad from Eggland’s Best and TheAlmondEater.com.

BLT Salmon Caesar Salad

Makes two servings

Ingredients:

1 salmon filet, baked and seasoned to your liking; 2 slices bacon; 1 Eggland’s Best egg (large); 5 cups lettuce; 1/2 cup tomatoes; 1 avocado, sliced; 1 cup croutons; 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese; 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing

Directions:

Heat bacon in a skillet and cook completely; set aside and then cut or break into bite-­size pieces once cooled.

Soft boil the egg over the stovetop.

While egg is cooking, place lettuce in a large bowl and add tomatoes, avocado, croutons and cheese to the bowl; stir to combine.

Next, add the baked salmon to the salad, along with the bacon; add the Caesar dressing and stir to combine.

Last, add the soft-boiled egg and enjoy!

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