How To Drink More Water

water-glass-by-Matt and Kim RudgeOne of the easiest health improvements is this: drink enough water.

Americans are notoriously bad at drinking enough fluids throughout the day. Drinking enough water throughout the day is important to staying healthy because our bodies need water for basic processes, like breathing, thinking, and keeping your heart beating. Without water, your body feels fatigued, thinking is more difficult, and you can get more headaches. Over the long term, you can see more gum disease and kidney stones.

So how do you actually get yourself to drink more water? It’s something we all need to do but few of us actually accomplish. First, figure out how much water you should be drinking and then follow these tips to get closer to your goal.

  1. Set an alarm at intervals throughout your day to remind you to drink a glass of water.
  2. Drink one glass of water every time you use the restroom throughout the day and make it a habit.
  3. Use a smartphone app to track your water consumption.
  4. Add flavors to your water or special ice cubes. You can cut off a small square of a Fruti bar for a fun ice cube sub.
  5. When you need a break at work, head for the water cooler.
  6. Take a water bottle with you everywhere you go.

Figuring out how to get more water in your system might mean making a system to get you more water throughout the day.

Eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables also helps your water intake because there is a high amount of water in these foods. If you’re not eating enough fruits and veggies, be sure to try to increase them as you work towards your water intake goals.

Posted in Educational | Leave a comment

Mango Parfait Squares

DSCN3626Here’s a creamy gluten-free dessert you’ll enjoy. The buttery nut crust is topped with a cream cheese layer that contrasts perfectly with the Fruti mousse.

We’ve made this in a small quantity so you can whip it up for yourself and a friend or two.

Mix 1 cup hazelnut meal or almond meal with 4 T melted butter. Spread the dough into a small baking dish  and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

IMG_0064

Whip together 1/2 c. softened cream cheese with 1/4 c. powdered sugar. Spread over the cooled crust.

IMG_0066
Add 1 c. boiling water to a small package of Mango Jell-O. Stir in 2 cut-up Mango or Caribbean Mix Fruti bars till they’re melted and the mixture is smooth.

IMG_0069

Stir in 1 c. whipped cream. Pour the mousse over the cream cheese layer and chill.

DSCN3623

You have a creamy, gluten free dessert with a delicate, nutty crust. It’ll remind you of cream pies — remember this recipe for the holidays!

Remember, too, that you can’t do this with a frozen juice bar. Fruti Bars’ first ingredient is fruit, and it’s the chunks of real fruit that make recipes like this possible.

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Mango Cake Stacks Recipe

mangostacks2If you’re headed to a party this weekend and need a quick but easy recipe for something truly impressive, making these simple Mango Shortcake Stacks is a great way to assemble some ingredients together in a fun way to give your dessert some pop with very little effort. Because this recipe uses pre-made ingredients, it takes no time at all to assemble but looks great. It also doesn’t take any special skills so you look like a professional chef without having to go to culinary school!

Ingredients

Pre-made poundcake
One Mango Fruti Bar
One can whipped cream
One mango
4 Tasting glasses

Directions

  1. Slice your pound cake into a 1/4 inch slices and use one tasting glass to cut out 12 circles of pound cake. You can use a knife to separate the edge from the glass if it sticks. Set these aside and clean the tasting glass.
  2. Prepare the mango and dice into small pieces.
  3. Soften the Fruti Mango bar and cut into small squares.
  4. Stack the ingredients inside the tasting glass by layering pound cake, cubes of Fruti Mango bar, diced mango, and starting the pattern over until the glasses are completely full. As the Fruti bar melts, the layers will compact together more so be sure to slightly overfill it.
  5. Chill and top with whipped cream just before serving.

mangostacks1

We always love to see what people do with our Fruti bars so if you’ve used them in a creative way, let us know on our Facebook page and we’ll share it on our blog.

 

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Streamline Your Morning

morning-jogg-by-Ed YourdonOne of the hardest things to do for a lot of people is to wake up early enough to have a good breakfast and to get some exercise in. Once the day starts going, it can be hard to take the time to exercise, and by the time you get home at the end of the day you’re exhausted — or you’re just ready to spend time with friends and family.

How can you get up and get going early enough to fit in a workout? Try out these tips to get a good breakfast and get moving for your day:

  1. Set out your gear the night before. Put out your outfit for the day and your workout clothing. If you like to work out before getting ready for the day, put on your workout gear as soon as you get out of bed so you’re forced to exercise before getting read for work. You’d feel silly changing out of your gym clothes without even working out! This will also help you spend less time picking out the perfect outfit in the morning and more time to do something good for yourself.
  2. Make breakfast ahead of time. Choosing options that you can make ahead of time for breakfast can help you just grab and go on your way to your workout or after while you’re getting ready for work in the morning and trying to send the kids out the door. Hard boiled eggs are a great option to provide the protein you need in a convenient package that’s portable. Smoothies made with our frozen fruit bars as a base can be made the night before and stuck in the fridge. Simply grab, shake it up, and you’re good to go.
  3. Forget the snooze button. Those extra minutes after the alarm rings aren’t really restful, and they can keep you from fitting in a full cardio workout or rob you of the cool down from your yoga routine.Train yourself to get out of bed when the alarm rings, and you can wake up while you warm up.
  4. Streamline your routine. If you like to spend time doing your hair and makeup or enjoying the morning paper, find ways you can cut down on the time you take to do your morning activities so you can find more time to do things that are good for your health.

Once you make a new routine of your mornings with a good breakfast and a workout added into the mix, you’ll get used to doing those activities in the morning and they’ll become second nature.

Posted in Fun | Leave a comment

Happy Back to School!

They say that being a mom is the toughest job you’ll ever love, and you know that even more when you have a house full of rambunctious kids for the summer. It’s wonderful… but it can also be a challenge.

Now that you’re sending your kids back to school for the year, we’re hoping the summer craziness calms down some for you and your family and you can enjoy some time for yourself.

Once you’ve dropped the kids off for school the first day, take a moment to catch your breath, smile at the thought of your kids growing up a getting a bit older, cry a little bit, and know that you’re doing a good job. And then watch this video and laugh because you really deserve it.

And we’d like to take a moment to thank our moms for everything they did for us. We know we wouldn’t be making our high-quality frozen fruit bars without them! Take some well deserved “Mom” time and enjoy one our Fruti bar drink recipes while you rejoice in another successful summer.

Posted in Fun | Leave a comment

Chocolate Dipped Fruti Bars

Chocolate-Covered-Fruti-Bar-RecipeSometimes you want some a Fruti bar. Sometimes you want some chocolate. And sometimes you want both! You really can have it all with just a few quick steps for a fun activity and delicious chocolate-covered frozen fruit bar. With just two steps and two ingredients, it’s an easy and quick recipe!

Crunchy Chocolate-Covered Fruti Bars

  1. Combine 8 ounces of chocolate and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. In the microwave, heat until smooth, stirring every 20 seconds.
  2. Dunk or drizzle a well-frozen Fruti bar with the chocolate mixture. Wait a few seconds for your chocolate covered frozen fruit bar to harden and enjoy!

The best part of this treat is you can control what’s used in the chocolate covering. If you care about equitable business practices, you can use fair trade chocolate and coconut oil. You can also control the quality of the ingredients. There are two main kinds of coconut oil and you should know about each to understand what you’re buying. There’s organic and conventional too, just like other fruits, but it’s best to understand the differences between refined and unrefined coconut oil.

Chocolate-Covered-Fruti-Bar-2

Unrefined Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil, or unrefined, is extracted from the coconut flesh without the use of chemicals, so if you’re looking for a coconut oil that’s safer, virgin is the way to go. It’s gathered much the same way as olive oil through expeller pressing, centrifugal, or cold-pressed. The more heat that’s used in the process, the more coconut flavor the oil will give to the food you use it with.

Refined Coconut Oil

Made from dried coconut called copra, refined coconut oil has to be stabilize for consumption so it doesn’t go rancid. Different companies use different processes and some use harsh chemicals like lye to produce refined coconut oil. This doesn’t mean it’s unsafe for your family, just that you need to check into the practices used to make the oil. Some refined coconuts oils are better than others. Some coconut oils are also hydrogenated, which you want to avoid for the same reasons you want to avoid hydrogenated oils of other kinds.

Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

Get Your Kitchen Ready for Back to School

bentoBack to School time is exciting, scary, exhilarating, and requires a lot of adjustment. Make it easier on yourself by planning ahead.

Breakfast is super important for health and also, it turns out, for concentration. The brain requires glucose for fuel, and glucose can only be produced by eating, not taken from fat stores or muscles. That means that kids can’t concentrate well in class if they skip breakfast. Protein and complex carbs are the essentials for breakfast, but that doesn’t mean you have to cook on busy mornings.

Stock up on these prepare-ahead options:

  • apples, oranges, and other easy to carry fruits
  • eggs — boil them and store in the fridge for quick protein
  • yogurt or cottage cheese — watch the sugar content!
  • cheese, in fun squares or strings
  • peanut butter or almond butter to spread on apple slices or whole grain toast
  • deli turkey slices to roll up with veggies inside
  • whole grain muffins — bake them up healthy and freeze them

Grab and go options like these make it easier to get out the door in the mornings.

School lunches are getting healthier, and they’re a bargain if time is tight in the mornings. If your kids don’t like school lunches, ditch the paper bags for a sturdy container like the bento box above. Sandwiches and cut up fruits and veggies will be a lot tastier if they haven’t gotten squished on the bus.

After school snacks are a must for growing kids. They get hungry! Make it a wholesome choice — nuts, a Fruti bar, or cut up veggies with guacamole are tasty choices that keep energy up and don’t spoil dinner.

As for dinner, if you’re a working mom, the slow cooker is your friend. The same is true for busy students! Put lean meat or chicken into a Crock Pot with sauce or seasonings, cut up a few potatoes on top, and just add a bag of pre-washed salad to make a great dinner.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Pool Noodle Workout

pool-noodle-photo by ashleigh290The long dog days of summer aren’t over yet and it is still blistering hot outside. No one wants to go work out in this heat but getting exercise is still important. So why not exercise in the pool? This quick routine will give you a total body workout while still keeping you cool in the water. Be sure to lather on the sunscreen, grab a few pool noodles, and get ready to be splashed!

Underwater Crunch: To work your abs, put as many noodles as you need to stay afloat under your arms while your legs are underneath you and head out into water deep enough that you can stand with your head just barely above the water. With your legs straight below you and no weight on your feet, pull your legs up towards your chest while keeping them as straight as you can, even when they come out of the water, and then slowly drop them back down to starting position for one rep. Do 3 sets of 12 of this move.

Standing Pushup: This move is a great way to work your way up to a real pushup — or just to make a pushup more practical for the pool. Grab a couple pool noodles and go into just below chest height water. Hold onto the noodles so your arms are a little more than shoulder width apart. Bend over slightly so your chest is in the water and slowly push down on the noodles so they submerge in the water and your arms are straight. Slowly raise them back up to touch your chest under the water for one rep. Do 3 sets of 25 of this move.

Side Bends: Go into water that’s just below your armpits and put a few noodles under one arm and place your hand on your hip, reaching your opposite arm over your head. Using your abs and obliques, bend sideways to bring the noodles as close to your hip as you can and then return to standing straight slowly for one rep. Do 3 sets of 12 of this move on each side.

Leg Lifts: Stand in just above waist high water and balance on one foot with the other leg out straight in front of you. Place one or two noodles under your leg close to your foot   and then lower your leg as far as you can without the noodles slipping out. Then return slowly to the start position for one rep. Holding onto a railing or the side of a pool can help if you have trouble balancing but be sure to keep your core tight to stay balanced. Do 3 sets of 25 on each side.

Running: Go into deep water that you can barely stand in and put one or two noodles between your legs, just enough to keep you suspended in the water. While you’re floating, run, pumping your legs up and down, for a cardio workout. Try to maintain a quick speed for as long as you can to close out your pool workout!

Posted in Fun | Leave a comment

Ten Reasons to Eat More Fruit

fruits-and-vegetables-karimianEating healthy foods is important to us at Chunks O’ Fruti because we know how much of a positive impact it can make on your daily and long-term health. There are thousands of reasons to eat the full servings of fruit every day. That’s why we use real fruit as the first ingredient in our frozen fruit bars and why we don’t have any weird additives to copy real fruit taste. Instead, we get it right from nature.

There are a lot of reasons to eat fruit but here’s our top ten:

  1. A recent study says those who eat hardly any fruits and vegetables die 37 months sooner than those who do. Eating plenty of fruit is the sweetest route to a long and healthy life.
  2. Eating fruit reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes by 21%.
  3. Berries can help your brain age less quickly and keep your memory stronger.
  4. Happiness levels are higher in people who eat more fruit.
  5. Fruits hit the spot when you’re craving sweets — with far fewer calories and more nutrients.
  6. As inflammation fighters, fruits can help relieve arthritis.
  7. Vitamins and minerals from fruits are more effective than pills for health.
  8. Fruits help rejuvenate your skin and lead to a healthier complexion.
  9. Eating fruits regularly can outweigh genetic disposition to heart troubles.
  10. Weight loss is easier when you eat plenty of fruits.

The best way to get fruits in your diet is to eat real fruit instead of using supplements or drinking juices. Chunks O’ Fruti bars are an easy and convenient way to get all the benefits of fresh fruits, since studies show frozen fruit is just as good as fresh and might even be better if picked at the height of nutritional value. And because they’re tasty, Chunks O’ Fruit bars are a refreshing fruit treat that everyone loves!

Posted in Educational | Leave a comment

Allergies, Intolerance, Aversions, and Avoidance

food allergies

There’s a lot of talk about food allergies, but sometimes “allergy” is the wrong word. Let’s get specific about the things that keep people from eating specific food ingredients.

If you’re allergic to an ingredient, your body responds to that item with a build up of histamine. You can expect itchy skin, hives, and maybe even difficulty breathing. Allergies to nuts are relatively common, and extreme allergies can be fatal. If you’re allergic to any food ingredient, stay away from it. Fruti bars are carefully produced to avoid contamination with nuts, but they often do contain strawberries, another ingredient which can produce allergic reactions in some people.

Intolerance is not the same as an allergy. People who are lactose intolerant, for example, lack the enzyme needed to digest dairy products containing lactose. Intolerance is often hereditary and is likely to be more common in people of one heritage background than another. For example, people of Asian heritage are more likely to be lactose intolerant than people of Northern European heritage. Intolerance to an ingredient usually leads to stomach upset or cramps. Strawberry Cream Fruit bars contain cream and milk, but the other flavors of Fruti bars contain neither dairy nor wheat.

Aversion is a term used for a strong dislike. If the smell of a particular food is nauseating to you or you can’t stand the taste of it, that’s an aversion rather than an intolerance or an allergy. Aversions might be emotional (as when, for example, you can’t eat venison because you think of Bambi) or sensory (if, for instance, you dislike the smell of cooked cruciferous vegetables). Sometimes aversion come with pregnancy and go away after the baby is born. We’ve never heard of anyone having an aversion to Fruti bars.

Avoidance is a decision not to eat something for reasons unrelated to your physical response to it. For example, many people now avoid gluten because they believe it will cause weight gain, rather than because it makes them ill. Many people also avoid artificial flavors and colors for health reasons. Fruiti bars are free of all these ingredients.

Posted in Educational | Leave a comment