Spiced Oven-Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabaga Fries

“They’re like French fries but without as many of the calories and fat,” said LifeVest member Laura Meier.

Bingo. Laura’s description of rutabaga fries sounded great to us, and it didn’t take us long before we set out to discover its truth.

Rutabaga

Since joining the program, LifeVester Laura is over halfway to her goal of losing 50 pounds, and now has a new goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the long run.

“We’re going to keep encouraging each other and thinking smarter so we can remain feeling good,” says Laura who set out on her journey to health in partnership with her husband. “You have to think long-term. Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Why go back when you could feel good for life?”

Laura told us she loves finding new ways to transform some of her favorite recipes into healthier versions. It keeps her feeling both satisfied and excited about continuing on.

She has always loved french fries, and we do too, so we were thrilled to hear about her latest version that enables her to remain on the right track toward her goals.

Rutabaga Fries

Rutabagas have just 1/2 the calories and 1/2 of the carbs that potatoes contain. So, inserting them into the standard oven-baked fry equation sounded like a genius idea to us.

Often mistaken for a turnip, the root veggie has that same sweet bite of a turnip with the starchiness of a potato. This makes them perfect for slicing up into flavorful fries, ones that luckily come without too much detriment to your diet.

Rutabaga Fries

At just 65 calories per cup, the winter veggie (in season Oct. – March) has become no small fry in our recipe book. Rather, thanks to Laura, it’s our new fry-making go-to.

We were thrilled with the crispy results upon our first batch, and are excited to experiment with other spices and herbs. We’d encourage you to do the same after first trying the chili powder version below.

Chili powder

As Laura shares, “It makes us, especially my husband, think we’re having a burger and fries.” She serves her ruta-fries alongside turkey burgers with lettuce swapped for the bun, a combo we can get behind.

Let us know in the comments, how do you make your favorite comfort foods healthier? We’d love to hear what you’re doing to transform some of your favorite recipes, and thank you to Laura for sharing this idea with us!

Click here for recipe…


Homemade Curry Pumpkin Seeds

Homemade Curry Pumpkin Seeds

Put your carved jack-o’-lantern on your porch, but please pass along its seeds to your plate! Those tiny ovals will obtain an irresistible crunch upon roasting, meaning they have no place in the trashcan.

They’re also scary good for you. Legend has it that jack-o’-lanterns originated as a means to ward off evil spirits. However, we’re starting to think it’s the pumpkin seeds that deserve most of the credit for scaring off death. You see, pumpkin seeds contain a solid 150mg of magnesium per ounce. Research shows that meeting the recommended daily value of magnesium (442mg/day) is highly associated with a reduced risk of death. (That’s a 34% risk reduction for overall mortality, 59% reduction in cardiovascular death & a 37% reduction in cancer death, according to this study. Woah!)

In addition to that magical magnesium, pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat. This all makes them an incredibly satisfying snack — especially when you add a little salt and curry powder to the mix.

We’ve got the recipe below that shows you how to do just that, so get ready to go save your seeds and take them to the table.

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LifeVester Recipe: Basil Tomato “Pasta” with Chicken

Recipe: Basil Tomato "Pasta" with Chicken

The following easy-to-make recipe comes from LifeVester Angela Delgado, and offers a much lighter alternative to your traditional plate of pasta. Since Angela discovered zucchini could be turned into noodles a few months ago, she’s been making it every single week!

“It tricks me into thinking I’m eating pasta, which I’ve always been addicted to,” she says. “It’s really quick and has simple flavors that all come together to create a really fresh dish.”

With less than half the calories of regular pasta, and a whole lot of vitamin C and other nutrients, this is one pasta where building a healthy addiction would be well-warranted! Serve it up as a light meal or alongside a slice of whole grain bread and a salad.

Click here for recipe…


100-calorie Snacks for the Beach

If you’re headed to de-stress in the sand anytime over these last few weeks of summer, we’ve got a bunch of snack ideas for you that are heavy on nutrition yet light on calories. These will swim you away from the pizza, ice cream, funnel cakes, and other beach fare that are likely to crash a tidal wave down on your beach body. Use these smarter choices to keep those temptations at bay. Below find five, 100-calorie bites for the beach:

Hummus Stuffed Peppers

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Meatless Monday: Watermelon, Basil & Feta Salad

Watermelon health

Watermelons are synonymous with summer.

Like the first jump into a lake or pool, the fruit creates a cool, crisp and refreshing experience for the hottest of days. And since it’s made up of 92% water, that experience is a light and hydrating one, too.

These latter traits are ones ice cream just can’t match. Hence why when it comes to choosing between watermelon juice vs. sticky vanilla dripping down our hands, 9 times out of 10 you’ll find us reaching for the melon. That little bicep workout we get from doing so is just an added benefit. (The average melon is 20 pounds, 14 of those pounds being sweet, juicy deliciousness.)

Aside from the obvious benefits of keeping watermelon your summer snack of choice, below are 3 other reasons to chow down. Click here to keep reading…


A healthy celebration of National Ice Cream Month

In 1984, Ronald Reagan marked July as the official month of ice cream. That presents 30 sweet years of history, so of course we want you to celebrate its anniversary – the cool-down, feel-good LifeVest way.

At LifeVest, we’d never prescribe a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (even in the most tearful situations, since dancing and taking a run are better, proven ways to cheer up quickly). But a simple, no-sugar-added, one-ingredient treat? Now that’s an ice cream we 100% stand behind. Today, we bring you our special, DIY banana ice cream.

Other than its capabilities of providing a naturally cool, creamy base to celebrate this month, there are numerous reasons why we are forever going bananas for bananas. Below are a few for why it can create a recipe that’ll outshine any other ice cream in your bowl:

Bananas for Ice Cream

  • A potassium powerhouse: Containing over 10% of your Daily Value, a banana is the most convenient source of potassium, a nutrient good for your heart. Regular consumption helps guard against high blood pressure and stroke. It also aids in recovery following exercise, which is why bananas are often an athlete’s snack of choice.
  • B6 beasts: Technically an herb, the banana is notably high in vitamin B6, too, important for brain function, maintaining proper blood sugar levels, & producing antibodies for a stronger immune system.
  • A sweeter-than-sugar swap: Love to bake, but want to cut down on your sugar-intake? Look no further than the extra ripe banana sitting on your counter. For every 1 cup of sugar, combine 1 cup of mashed, overripe bananas with just a few tablespoons of water. Puree until smooth. Then, if using in baking, cut down on the moisture in your recipe by using a little less milk or water. Not a big baker? Use mashed bananas to sweeten up your breakfast, such as plain yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal, rather than buying sugar-added alternatives.
  • A WISE choice: Health aside, the scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men”. That fun fact makes us feel even more so that our ice cream recipe below is a smart choice.

Click here for recipe…


3 Recipes to Drink Light This Memorial Day Weekend

Light Blueberry Cocktail

Memorial Day marks the (un)official start of summer. Hooray for the onset of BBQ season, picnicked Saturday lunches, sandwiches on the sand, and farmers’ market Sundays! ‘Tis the season for outdoor dining and drinking.

With that in mind, it’s important to be mindful of not letting your diet go to the bayside. Instead, we want to see you make smart choices to get your body ready for the beach! Let’s kick off the season with a focus to keep mealtimes light this weekend by loading up on the first seasonal items of summer.

Hit up your local farmers’ market so you can party down on a basket full of produce. Whether it means making a road trip for a mini Memorial Day weekend adventure, grilling in your own backyard, or heading to the park, fruits and vegetables make for the most refreshing summertime snacks and sides. In honor of the warmer temps, as you utilize the season’s bounty to lighten up your meals, we’re bringing you some recipes so you can do the same with your drinks!

Below, find three simple summertime favorites, including classics like iced tea spruced up with a sophisticated twist of lavender and Earl Grey, and a fun, antioxidant-laced blueberry cocktail. Light and iced, you’ll find these are refreshing to the last drop.

Click here for recipes…