Category Archives: Holiday Tips

10 Holiday Home Food Safety Tips

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Enjoying food with family and friends is one of the highlights of the holiday season and while everyone wants to join in to help, too many cooks in the kitchen can result in an increased risk of food poisoning.

One in 6 Americans is sickened by food poisoning each year, and while it may involve flu-like symptoms, foodborne illness can cause severe and even life-threatening illnesses. Easy-to-do, safe food handling practices protect everyone in the family from getting sick.

Here are some tips to avoid common kitchen blunders when preparing meals, buffets and even homemade food gifts this holiday season.

Share the Gift of Home Food Safety This Season

Follow these simple steps to properly handle food and reduce your risk of food poisoning:

  • Defrost carefully. Never allow foods to defrost at room temperature, on the counter or in warm water. Defrost food only in the refrigerator, in the microwave or in a cool water bath with water that is changed every 30 minutes. When defrosting food in the refrigerator, remember to cover raw meat and place it on the bottom shelf so juices won’t drip onto other foods. When defrosting food in the microwave, cook it immediately afterward.
  • Wash hands before, during and after food preparation. Proper hand-washing may eliminate a large percentage of food poisoning cases. Remember to wash hands when switching tasks, such as handling raw meat and then cutting vegetables. Wash hands thoroughly in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep kitchen surfaces clean. Use hot, soapy water to wash countertops and surfaces, cutting boards, refrigerator door handles and utensils. After cleaning, keep it clean by avoiding cross-contamination.
  • Use two cutting boards. Dedicate one for raw meat, poultry and fish and the other for ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Make it easy to remember by using color-coded cutting boards, one for raw meats and one for ready-to-eat foods.
  • Employ different utensils for different tasks. Use separate spoons and forks to taste, stir and serve food.
  • Resist temptation. When baking, avoid eating foods containing raw eggs such as cookie dough or cake batter. Raw eggs may contain harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.
  • Buy and use a food thermometer. It is the only reliable way to determine the doneness of your food and ensure that food is cooked to proper temperatures. (Do not rely on “clear juices” to tell that the turkey is done.)
  • Refrigerate food within two hours of serving. This helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. This is especially important when serving buffets. Use a refrigerator thermometer and make sure it’s set at below 40°F.

Are Your Guests at High Risk for Food Poisoning?

While you should always practice safe food handling, some guests might be particularly vulnerable to food poisoning, including older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with weakened immune systems. This may mean taking special precautions and keeping certain high-risk foods off the menu.

Whether you’re bringing a holiday dish to the party or preparing the holiday feast yourself, it’s important to practice safe food handling and keep in mind the needs of those who may be vulnerable to food poisoning.

Take special care during the holidays to ensure that vulnerable guests avoid high-risk foods, such as raw or undercooked eggs, raw or unpasteurized dairy products, raw fish or shellfish, raw or rare meat or undercooked poultry.

Joy to the Leftovers

Holiday meals often bring leftovers. Perishable food should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of serving or throw them out. In hot weather, when 90°F or above, toss within one hour of serving. Use an appliance thermometer to check that the refrigerator is cooling to 40°F or below and the freezer is 0°F or below.

Store leftovers in shallow containers (2 inches deep or less). Remove turkey from the bone and store it separately from the stuffing and gravy. Slice breast meat; legs and wings may be left whole. Use turkey within 3 to 4 days; stuffing and gravy within 1 to 2 days. Reheat leftovers to 165°F.

When in doubt, throw it out!

Source: Barbara Gordon, RDN, LD, Academy of Dietetics & Nutrition


Preparing food for the holidays is always stressful so if you’re looking for some extra help with you own personal meals then try Fresh ‘N Fit’s chef prepared menus.

Use promo code BLOG20, you’ll get $20 off your first order.

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4 Tips for Enjoying the Holidays Without Gaining Weight

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Americans gain about one to two pounds during the holidays. While this doesn’t sound so dramatic, research shows it adds up over the years. Luckily, there are ways to avoid holiday weight gain.

Tip #1: Don’t Skip Meals

Saving your appetite for a big holiday party or feast? Don’t. Skipping meals during the day may result in overeating. It is especially important to have breakfast, as research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Include lots of fiber by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber-rich foods are high in volume and will satisfy hunger, but are lower in calories.

Tip #2: Eat Small Portions

Holiday meals tend to be large, buffet-style and include second and third helpings. While one might not eat an entire cake, a common mistake is eating large portions of foods that are perceived as healthy. It’s important to include nutrient-rich foods in your diet, but also remember that these foods have calories as well and should be eaten in moderation. Using this approach at the holiday dinner table will allow you to maintain a healthful eating plan — one that can also include dessert.

Tip #3: Pick a Strategy to Avoid Overeating — and Use It!

There are many strategies to help you avoid overeating. Using a smaller plate, for instance, allows you to put less food on your plate and encourages proper portion sizes. Also, start by filling your plate with vegetables and salad before going to the entrees and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall. Eat slowly and savor every bite, and before you go back for seconds wait 10 minutes to see if you really still are hungry.

Tip #4: Keep Moving

Finally, after dinner, get some physical activity. This is a great time to go for a walk and catch up with family members, or play catch or a game of basketball with the kids.

Source: Barbara Gordon, RDN, LD, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


Need some extra help with controlling your portion during the holidays? Try the clean, healthy meals found on all 7 of Fresh ‘N Fit’s chef prepared menus and when you use promo code BLOG10, you’ll get 10% off your first order.

Cooking With Kids During The Holidays

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With special treats and family gatherings, the perfect time to teach your child about cooking and nutrition is during the holidays! Kids not only will get to try the new foods they prepare, but they also will get a big boost to their confidence when they see family and friends enjoying their creations. Most importantly, cooking with your children will promote future health by teaching them about nutrition and how to prepare healthy meals.

Safety Precautions

To be safe, cover a few ground rules before getting started in the kitchen. Teach kids to wash their hands with warm, soapy water while singing two choruses of “Happy Birthday” to wash away germs.

Teaching Basics

To begin cooking, teach your child the basics, such as cracking an egg or gathering the ingredients for a favorite holiday recipe. Convey to your child the importance of measuring the correct amount of each ingredient and the different types of utensils you need to use.

Look Who’s Cooking!

To keep your children enthusiastic about cooking, assign tasks of a holiday recipe they are able to prepare based on their abilities. Here are some ideas depending on your child’s age and ability:

  • Three to five year olds: mix together simple ingredients, snap green beans, tear lettuce for a salad, press cookie cutters
  • Six to seven year olds: shuck corn, use a vegetable peeler, crack eggs, measure ingredients
  • Eight to nine year olds: use a can opener, juice citrus fruits, check the temperature of foods with a thermometer, pound chicken on a cutting board
  • Children age ten and older: slice or chop vegetables, boil potatoes, microwave foods, bake foods in the oven, simmer ingredients on the stove.

Remember to allow your child to gradually master cooking methods. Start with simple techniques such as rolling dough, using a cookie cutter or spreading frosting. Give your child time to work his or her way up to completing the entire cookie making process, from pouring liquids into batter to baking them in the oven. Explain different methods for cooking and their purpose, such as baking versus broiling and how you would cook different dishes.

Source: Sarah Kleim, RD, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


Spending quality time while making great memories with your children is not just important during the holidays but all year long. But if you do need a break from cooking, the Fresh ‘N Fit chefs are here to help.

End the year on a high note by enjoying the clean, healthy meals found on all 7 of our chef prepared menus and when you use promo code HEALTHYHOLIDAYS10, you’ll get 10% off your first order.

 

Fresh ‘N Fit Nutrition Coaches: Staying Healthy For Thanksgiving

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Are you dreading the Thanksgiving Day spread? If you’re hosting a get-together, you want to make delicious dishes that your guests are going to love. However, many traditional Thanksgiving meals aren’t necessarily the healthiest and are loaded with fat, sodium and sugar. Here’s a few repeat Thanksgiving offenders that our Registered Dietitian, Ms. Julia Lott, has updated to offer a healthier version that everybody will enjoy.

Cranberry Sauce – Cranberry sauce can be very high in sugar. Many times recipes can call for a whole cup of sugar, which is a whopping 200 grams!

Original Recipe

  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • Cal: 95 kcal  | Sugar: 2
  • 11 servings per recipe

Healthy Makeover

  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Cal: 40 Kcal | Sugar: 8g
  • 11 servings per recipe

Sweet Potato Casserole – Traditional sweet potato casserole is high in fat and sugar. Take out the butter and marshmallows and will still taste amazing!

Original Casserole Recipe

  • 3 ½ pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Topping

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2½ cup mini marshmallows
  • Total Cal: 558 Kcal | Fat: 19g | Sugar 50g
  • 8 servings per recipe

Healthy Casserole Makeover

  • 3 ½ pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Topping

  • 1 tbsp packed dark brown
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • Total Cal: 160 Kcal | Fat: 4g | 18g
  • 8 servings per recipe

Green Bean Casserole – A green bean casserole is typically high in sodium. Make the switch to reduced cream soup and home made crispy onion topping and the sodium is significantly lower.

Original Casserole Recipe

  • 1 can of condensed cream mushroom soup
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked green beans
  • 1 ½ cup of crispy fried onions
  • Cal: 161 Kcal | Sodium 456mg
  • 6 servings per recipe

Healthy Casserole Makeover

  • 1 can of condensed cream mushroom soup (Reduced Sodium)
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked green beans
  • 1 medium onion cut into strips
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • Cal: 97 Kcal | Sodium: 27 mg
  • 6 servings per recipe
A simple strategy for reducing the fat, sodium and sugar in your Thanksgiving meals is to use low sodium items, substitute or reduce butter and sugar, and to use non-calorie flavor enhancements such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. By making some minor changes to your menu items, you will feel good about what your eating and your guests will thank you for thinking about their health and happiness as well.

Need a little extra help for Thanksgiving, our line of Fresh Extras includes favorites like our Pumpkin Spice or Zucchini breakfast breads and other items that will save you time and are perfect to bring to your family gatherings.

Save 10% off your first order when you use promo code FRESHBLOG10 at checkout.

It’s Time For A New Perspective…

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Do you exercise with the hopes of reaching a specific number on the scale? Or are you wishing to fit into a certain size dress or jeans? While having a goal is great, it will NOT ensure your success.

Consider how many people you know who have had a specific weight that they wanted to reach. You are likely one of them. This number might have been posted up on a sticky note on the fridge, reminding you to watch what you eat and consistently make it to the gym. Maybe this number was updated and recorded everyday, to enforce accountability.

How long did that last? A week? Two weeks? Statistics dictate that it likely didn’t last longer than a few weeks until that “goal number” began to fade from your life. Then you took it down off the fridge, or you stared at it defiantly as you reached for the off-limits food. You began to look at your goal number as an adversary rather than something good.

IT’S NOT ABOUT REACHING A SPECIFIC WEIGHT

This may go against everything you’ve come to believe about achieving a goal, but then, your techniques haven’t exactly been working. The number that you’re hoping to magically be one day doesn’t matter one bit, and here’s why…

IT’S ACTUALLY ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENTUM

Can you remember how it felt the last time that you ate clean, exercised hard and got adequate sleep for a few consecutive days? A feeling of momentum came over you, didn’t it? There was a buzzing in your cells and a rhythm in your pace. You felt alive, you felt sexy, and you felt empowered. Never mind that you weren’t yet at your goal number, you were headed there!

Getting down to your goal weight, and fitting into your goal size, is the direct result of living in that state of momentum for an extended period of time. You see, the momentum can be felt immediately, once you start eating clean, exercising hard and taking care of your health, whereas that “goal number” simply can’t be felt until it is achieved, and so it’s not as powerful a motivator.

My challenge and advice to you is to find the joy of living in the momentum, and keep that momentum going until your goal number is achieved. Focus only on the momentum, not on the number.

Fitness is a way of life. Being lean is a lifestyle. Neither of which can be had by going about it halfheartedly.

Source: Rene Serrate, U First Fitness


Eating clean, exercising regularly and getting decent sleep. It’s seem like a simple combination but due to our busy schedules, it’s something that unfortunately is becoming harder to achieve. This holiday season, let the Fresh ‘N Fit chefs relieve some of the stress from the daily grind.

From freshly made meal plans to clean, single meals to our line of Fresh Extras that are perfect for family get-togethers and office parties, we make it easy for you to eat and stay healthy.

Try Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine today and thank us tomorrow. Use promo code NOVBLOG06 at checkout and take 10% off your first order.

Staying Healthy During The Holidays

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By: Julia Lott, MS, RD, LD
The holidays are right around the corner.  This means spending time with family and friends, spending time cooking and baking as well as attending gatherings.  Most holiday celebrations are centered on traditional foods; Thanksgiving usually has turkey and all the sides, a customary Hanukkah menu celebrates the miracle of oil that burned for 8 nights.  As a result, a Hanukkah menu has at least a few fried items such as latkes (fries potato pancakes) and sufganiot (fried donuts).  Christmas and Kwanzaa include many delicious foods as well.  Also, let’s not forget all of the desserts!

So how are we supposed to stay on track with our weight loss plan and health goals with all this delicious food?

Maintain

Trying to lose weight during the holidays can be an uphill battle.  Maintaining your weight should be the goal during the holidays.

Nutrition

If you’re going to a get-together, try eating something before you go.  This way you won’t end up consuming as many empty calories as you would if you showed up hungry.  It’s hard to make good choices when you’re starving.  Also, fill half of your plate with veggies when choosing foods.

Exercise

Try to not to change your exercise routine.  The holidays are not only a time when we tend to over indulge on foods, but it can also be stressful.  Working out helps regulate our stress levels.

Lastly, enjoy your time with family and friends.  It’s a time to make memories and enjoy one another.  Maybe even enjoy that dessert you never get to eat.


Eating right during the holidays is always the easiest way to stay healthy and with Thanksgiving several weeks away, it’s important to start that habit early. Let Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s clean, chef prepared meals help you achieve that. Get started today and use promo code OCTOBERBLOG10 at checkout and take 10% off your first order.

7 Good Reasons To Exercise (For The Holidays)

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Have you thought about starting an exercise program but haven’t done it yet? Here are 7 REALLY GOOD reasons to get started today!

Reason #1: To Melt Fat Away

The most coveted side effect of exercise is, of course, fat burn. The combination of a challenging exercise routine and a balanced meal plan is the best-known way to lose fat. Here’s what losing fat feels like:

  • Your pants become loose
  • People around you begin to say that you look great
  • A glance at yourself in the mirror makes you smile
  • Your energy levels soar
  • You feel amazing

Reason #2: To Alleviate Pain

Regular exercise is a great way to alleviate chronic muscle and joint pain. Persistent back pain can be lessened by strengthening your core, and you’ll protect yourself against injury. It amazes people when the chronic pain that they’ve lived with for years begins to fade after starting a regular exercise program.

Reason #3: To Increase Lean Tissue

More muscle is good for many reasons. You see, muscle burns five times more calories each day than fatty tissue. When you exercise your body composition will change to contain more lean tissue, thus resulting in extra calories burned while you sleep. What could be better than that?

Reason #4: To Stay Young

Tim D. Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College in London, led a study on the effects of exercise on aging. The results were astounding. They found that exercise appears to slow the shriveling of the protective tips on bundles of genes inside cells (called telomeres), which means a slowing of the aging process.

Here’s the study in a nutshell:

  • Telomeres cap the ends of chromosomes and every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter.
  • Once a telomere gets too short, that cell can no longer divide.
  • Aging occurs as more and more cells reach the end of their telomeres and die. This results in weakened muscles, skin wrinkles, loss of eyesight and hearing, organ failure and slowed metal functioning.
  • The study analyzed the telomeres from the white bloods cells of twins over a 10-year period. Telomere length was used as a marker for the rate of biological aging.
  • It was found that the length of telomeres was directly related to that twin’s activity level. “There was a gradient,” Spector said. “As the amount of exercise increased, the telomere length increased.”
  • People who did 100 minutes of weekly exercise had telomeres that looked like those from someone about 5-6 years younger than those who did 16 minutes of exercise each week.
  • People who did 3 hours of vigorous exercise each week had telomeres that looked like those from someone about 9 years younger.

Reason #5: To Prevent or Control Type 2 Diabetes

Regular exercise helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. This is something that people with type 2 diabetes, or at risk for type 2 diabetes, gain substantial benefits from.

Exercise improves the body’s use of insulin, and the related weight loss improves insulin sensitivity. Of course patients with type 2 diabetes need to follow guidelines from their doctor before starting an exercise program.

Reason #6: To Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

Exercise has shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels for these two reasons:

  1. Weak Heart Muscles pump little blood with lots of effort. By exercising you strengthen your heart muscles and train them to pump more blood with less effort. The stronger your heart is the less pressure will be exerted on your arteries.
  2. Exercise Increases HDL levels in some people—this means a decrease in your risk for heart disease. Other heart disease risk factors such as weight, diabetes and high blood pressure all show improvement with regular exercise.

Reason #7: To Feel Great

The first thing that clients tell me after starting an exercise program is how much better they feel. Most didn’t even realize how bad they felt. It is easy to get used to feeling sluggish, achy and unmotivated. Exercise boosts your energy levels and makes you feel amazing.

The quickest, easiest way to guarantee that you’ll meet your fitness and weight loss goals is to work one-on-one with a qualified fitness professional. You’ll be held accountable with your workouts and you’ll be instructed properly and shown techniques and strategies that will expedite your results.

What are you waiting for? Lace up your shoes and get moving!

Source: Rene Serrate, U First Fitness


Looking to try a chef prepared, balanced meal plan? If this is your first time trying Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, use promo code FALLBLOG1023 at checkout and take $20 off your first order.

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