Joy Bauer Life is hard, food should be easy Tue, 03 Dec 2019 16:20:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Read on: 13 of our favorite books from 2018 Tue, 18 Dec 2018 14:18:36 +0000 Whether you’re shopping for foodies, health-nuts or the kiddos, there's a book that's right for everyone. Here are some of my favorite titles.

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Whether you’re shopping for foodies, health-nuts or the kiddos, there’s a book that’s right for everyone in your life. Check out some of our very favorite titles, from tasty and comforting meals to cheerful and empowering storytelling.

The Gift that I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford
Nothing gets us in a feel-good spirit like Kathie Lee’s The Gift That I Can Give. It has a genuine message about loving who you are and finding small ways to brighten up someone else’s day. Both you and your little ones will adore flipping through this inspiring book.


I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb
Sometimes with children’s books, the focus is on the beautiful illustrations while the words don’t say much. This is NOT the case with Hoda’s I’ve Loved You Since Forever. We are stunned by the pictures on every page, but we really appreciate the poetic tale commemorating a parent’s love for their child even more. Be on the lookout for Hoda’s second book coming in 2019, You Are My Happy, about a mama bear and her cub.


Princesses Save the World by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim
The sequel to Princesses Wear Pants, Princesses Save the World combines two of our favorite things: girl power and fruit. In this tale, female heroes of various “Fruit Nations” have a crisis on their hands when they learn that the bees have all disappeared from Strawberry Kingdom. With themes of teamwork and creativity, this book is a true gem for little ones.


Clean & Hungry Obsessed by Lisa Lillian
In Hungry Girl’s Clean & Hungry Obsessed, weight loss guru Lisa Lillian takes on our beloved comfort foods (think doughnuts, lasagna, fried chicken, and more!). She strategically recreates, revamps and reimagines our fattening favorites, so we can truly feel good about eating the goodies we love. Her newest book hits stores nationwide in March (to preorder: Simply 6: All-Natural Recipes with 6 ingredients or Less). We certainly can’t wait!


SkinnyTaste’s One and Done by Gina Homolka
As a busy mom and writer, Gina Homolka knows a thing or two about simple and nutritious dinners. In her third amazing cookbook, she shares 140 fuss-free dinner recipes that can be prepared in ONE pot. Less work and minimal cleanup make this mom a happy cook. Her recipes are healthy and outstanding.


Taco! Taco! Taco! by Sara Haas
Want to upgrade your Taco Tuesdays? Yes! Yes! Yes! In her latest cookbook, Sara Haas dishes out more than 100 ways to make tacos, a favorite of kids and adults alike. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, BBQ, or Middle Eastern food, this fantastic book has a tasty taco for you.


When Action Follows Heart: 365 Ways to Share Kindness by Susan Spencer
What better New Year’s resolution to make than to practice daily acts of kindness? Inspired by the Kindness Project, this book, authored by Susan Spencer (editor-in-chief of Woman’s Day magazine) , shares 365 do-able deeds that can make the world a better place. This is truly a gift that will keep on giving.


Siriously Delicious by Siri Daly
This book is a “Siri-ous” must-have for those who love good food and value family time. Siri’s recipes are kid-friendly, tasty and simple to make. The best part? Her down-to-earth humor shines through in the dishes, which are organized from “Wakey Wakey” to “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”

The Truth about Food by David Katz
Get ready to debunk false health claims and fad diets with this comprehensive and profound read. Backed by scientific research, this book will arm you with the knowledge to keep up with new findings and prevent yourself from being duped by incorrect health information again. 100% of proceeds go to the Truth Health Initiative.


Half Baked Harvest Cookbook by Tieghan Gerard
Of course, we love cookbooks….but we especially love cookbooks full of colorful photos by talented chefs like Tieghan. Every taste bud will be satisfied through the pages of Half Baked Harvest, with recipes ranging from healthy to indulgent and easy weeknight dinners to extravagent weekend meals.


The Essential Veggie Cookbook by Sammi Haber Brondo
We all could use another dose of veggies during our day, and this cookbook will help you do just that. The Essential Vegetable Cookbook will walk you through how to prepare 30 different types of the most common vegetables and show you how to incorporate them into your daily diet with ease. Three cheers for veggies!


Israeli Soul by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook
Meet one of Joy’s favorite chefs, Michael Solomonov. Together with Steven Cook, this talented duo present the best recipes they’ve accumulated throughout their adventures in a number of Israeli cities. You’ll find step-by-step directions with beautiful mouthwatering photos that help make preparing these generational (and delicious) recipes a breeze. This cookbook is a passport to eating your way through a new cuisine.


At Home With Natalie by Natalie Morales
As a mom, Natalie Morales understands what we all look for in recipes: easy and healthy. Natalie gets her diverse kitchen flair from having lived all over the world as a child, which influenced a total of 125 recipes in this cookbook (that are anything but boring, by the way). We love how one simple addition to your kitchen can transform you to so many flavorful places.


If you’re feeling festive, make a batch of my yummy Chocolate Peppermint Bark and Almond Hot Cocoa to cozy up with while you’re reading.


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Joy Full Eats: Sweet Potato Casserole Mon, 19 Nov 2018 22:29:43 +0000 Try this tasty and trim Thanksgiving side this holiday. It features a secret ingredient to drive down carbs and calories.

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it’s time to whip up some scrumptious sides. Try my tasty Sweet Potato Casserole, which includes a secret ingredient to help cut calories and carbs. And bonus: It still features gooey marshmallows! Watch the video (and enjoy all the family cameos!).

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Trim Before the Turkey Wed, 20 Sep 2017 12:44:09 +0000 Get ahead of holiday weight gain! If you’re looking to be proactive by shedding a few pounds before Thanksgiving rolls around, give this “3-4-5 Plan” a try.

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My 3-4-5-Plan

Get ahead of holiday weight gain! If you’re looking to be proactive by shedding a few pounds before Thanksgiving rolls around, give this “3-4-5 Plan” a try.

The rules are simple: enjoy any breakfast for no more than 300 calories, any lunch for no more than 400 calories, and any dinner for no more than 500 calories. Create your own meals and menu or choose from the nutrient-packed options below.

Also, in addition to your three meals, enjoy one to two snacks each day. I provided a smart list for inspiration.

Breakfast Options: No more than 300 calories

Egg-Vegetable Scramble

  • 1 whole egg + 3 egg whites scrambled with any veggie combination (chopped tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, peppers, green beans, etc.) + 1 slice whole grain toast OR 1 orange or 3/4 cup berries

Apple with peanut butter

  • 1 apple with 2 tablespoons peanut butter 

Greek Yogurt Parfait

Lunch Options: No more than 400 calories

Trim ‘n Slim Salad

  • Mixed greens topped with 4-5 ounces protein (chicken, turkey, salmon, shrimp or tofu), ½ cup beans, and unlimited non-starchy veggies. Dress with 1 teaspoon olive oil + unlimited vinegar or fresh lemon juice (alternatively, you can use 2 tablespoons low-calorie vinaigrette).

Open-Faced Turkey & Swiss Sandwich

  • 1 slice whole grain bread layered with 4 ounces turkey, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, 1 tablespoon mustard or hummus, and preferred vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc.) + 2 cups of baby carrots on the side. *If preferred, nix the cheese and enjoy your sandwich on 2 slices of bread

 Soup and Salad

  • 2 cups of lentil, black bean, or hearty-vegetable soup + salad layered with non-starchy veggies and dressed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and unlimited vinegar or fresh lemon juice (alternatively, you can use 2 tablespoons of low-calorie vinaigrette).


Dinner Options: No more than 500 calories

Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes


  • Slow Cooker Chicken & Black Bean Chili
    • Enjoy 1 serving with 1 dollop low-fat Greek yogurt + ¼ cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese + ½ cup cooked brown rice or quinoa (OR 1/2 baked potato)

 Turkey Burger and Veggies

  • Turkey burger on ½ bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and squirt of ketchup + 2 cups steamed or roasted vegetables OR a salad dressed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and unlimited vinegar or fresh lemon juice (alternatively, you can use 2 tablespoons of low-calorie vinaigrette).

Baked Fish with Broccoli and Sweet Potato 

  • 5 ounces grilled, roasted or baked fish (cooked with 1 teaspoon olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and preferred seasonings) + 2 cups steamed broccoli and 1/2 baked sweet potato.

Snack Options

  • 5 to 6 ounces Greek yogurt (low-fat, nonfat, plain or flavored) + ½ cup berries
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (shell on)
  • String cheese and orange
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds (shell on)
  • Skim latte (skip sugar) and banana
  • ¼ cup hummus and veggies
  • Celery sticks with 2 level tablespoons nut butter
  • 4 cups light popcorn (or 150 calories worth of any brand)
  • ¼ cup (about a handful) of preferred nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts, almonds, shelled pistachios)
  • ½ cup of pistachios in the shell
  • Turkey-Bell Pepper Roll-Ups: 3 ounces turkey rolled with bell pepper sticks dipped in mustard or hot sauce
  • 1 cup steamed edamame in the pod
  • Small frozen yogurt
  • 2 rice cakes, each topped with 1 teaspoon nut butter

Here’s a neat trick to help you estimate how many calories you need for weight loss.

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Cheers! 2 Fit and Festive Cocktails Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:31:57 +0000 Hosting a holiday party? Serve up these two slimming, seasonal sips.

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QUESTION: I’m hosting a holiday party and am looking for a few slimming, festive cocktail ideas. Any suggestions?

—Elaine, East Meadow, New York

ANSWER: Try these two delicious drinks to help get your party started. For a fruity fix with bubbles and champagne, serve my Pomegranate Sparkler, or if you prefer something creamy and dreamy, whip up my Peppermint-ini. Cheers!

pomegranate-sparklerPomegranate Sparkler
80 calories per serving

Make a champagne toast extra special by infusing your bubbly with an antioxidant-rich splash of pomegranate juice. Along with a few health perks, this fruity accent gives this chic cocktail a bold red color and a lovely sweet-tart finish.


210 calories per serving

A traditional peppermint martini will cost you the calorie equivalent of 32 mini candy canes. Talk about a sugar rush! Whip up my version of this festive drink and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays without worrying about your waistline.

Have a diet or nutrition question you’d like me to answer? Submit here.

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Steer Clear of Holiday Calorie Catastrophes Sun, 14 Feb 2016 17:30:02 +0000 Festive foods can be extremely fattening, but making a few slim swaps will allow you to enjoy your favorite holiday dishes without overdoing it.

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Festive foods are fun and delicious, but they can be extremely caloric (bah-humbug!). Making a few easy tweaks to the most fattening fare can help you enjoy your favorite foods without overdoing it.

Check out some of the biggest calorie catastrophes below and slim swaps that can help you keep your weight—and your risk for heart disease—in check.

Calorie Catastrophe: Cheese tray
Slim Swap: Add a few reduced-fat cheeses to your tray and label your choices so guests know which are the lighter options. Serve with whole-grain crackers (for a dose of fiber) and plenty of fruit.

Calorie Catastrophe: Dips
Slim Swap: Substitute nonfat Greek or traditional yogurt for calorie-packed sour cream or mayo in your favorite dip recipes. It gives you the same consistency for significantly fewer calories. And bonus: It offers protein, too. Prefer mayo or sour cream? Opt for light versions.

Calorie Catastrophe: Mashed potatoes
Slim Swap: Replace full-fat dairy with low-fat buttermilk or 1% milk, and melt in just a tablespoon of butter or trans-fat-free spread. Fresh herbs, spices and other enhancers, such as sweet roasted garlic or even smoky hot chipotle peppers, can add flavor. Another trick: “Cut” your potatoes by replacing half the spuds with steamed cauliflower. You’ll get the same creamy consistency and flavor for a fraction of the calories and carbs.

Calorie Catastrophe: Prime rib
Slim Swap: Swap your standard rib roast for a lean beef tenderloin, which has about half the calories and less than a quarter of the fat. Or go for leaner meats, like roast turkey, Cornish game hens or pork tenderloin.

Calorie Catastrophe: Eggnog
Slim Swap: Swap out at least half the heavy cream for evaporated skim milk. (Try my Slim-Style Eggnog.) Have the store-bought stuff? Add some skim milk or soymilk to trim calories, fat and sugar.

Calorie Catastrophe: Pie
Slim Swap: Instantly cut 100 calories from pecan or apple pie by slicing off the outer crust. Simple! Also, skip the ice cream and go a la cream instead: Opting for a spray of aerated whipped cream instead of ice cream can save you another 130 calories.

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Yes! You Can Enjoy the Holiday Season Sun, 14 Feb 2016 17:28:23 +0000 Think you have to bypass all holiday goodies if you're watching your weight? Thank again. Use these four party pointers to enjoy yourself without overdoing it.

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Whoever described the holiday season as “the most wonderful time of the year” was certainly not trying to watch his weight. Between the office parties, family get-togethers and all those festive food gifts, it can easily turn into a nonstop feeding frenzy. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can enjoy the season (and yes, some of the tasty treats) without overdoing it using these smart strategies

Be picky with parties. You don’t have to say yes to every holiday invitation—it’s OK to pass on a party or two. Choose a few that are most important to you and truly savor those soirees!

Walk it off. You may not have time for a formal workout at the gym, but you can still get in your exercise. Aim to log 10,000 steps per day. It might seem like a lot, but you can hit the mark by moving more all day long. For instance, start your morning with a quick walk, help the host by passing out food and clearing plates and take a post-party stroll. An activity tracker can help you keep tabs on how close you are to reaching your goal with charts and graphs.

Give the gift of healthy food. Instead of bringing a bottle of wine or other gift for the host, whip up your own healthy homemade recipe. It gives you a two-for-one benefit: You look like a gracious guest and you know you’ll have at least one nutritious dish to enjoy that evening.

Master the buffet. Going to a buffet-style party? Fill your first plate with produce only—this includes crudité, roasted red peppers, salad, and fruit off the cheese platter. The fiber will fill you up, possibly helping you to pull back on fatty fare. On your next trip up to the buffet, fill your plate with a moderate serving of whatever else looks delicious.

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Joy’s Top Five Gifts for a Healthy Holidays Sun, 14 Feb 2016 17:26:53 +0000 Still trying to figure out what to get your spouse, neighbor, in-law or child's teacher? Give the gift of health with these five good-for-you gift ideas.

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The countdown is on! If you’re still trying to decide what to buy for the people on your list, consider giving the gift of health. Below, I’ve shared five of my favorite good-for-you goodies.

1. Nike’s Get Fit Kits. My friends are raving about Nike’s new Get Fit Kits, which are perfect to help you get moving every day. The kits are a one-stop-shop with gear, workout ideas and play lists that make it easy to stay motivated no matter what. Nice deal.

2. Nourish Snacks
Yes, as the founder of Nourish Snacks, you could say I’m a little biased (ahem), but these are seriously so delicious, and my gift recipients are always thrilled with their yummy loot. Plus, there’s something for everyone—chocolaty, sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy. You name it, you can nosh on it!

3. BKR Water Bottle
Sip in style with these beautifully designed BPA-free water bottles. Choose from a variety of designs and colors and two different sizes. They’ll help you stay hydrated—and look good while doing it.

4. Taylor Digital Scale and Measuring Cup
Your phone has gotten smarter, so why not your measuring cup, too? This one from Taylor weighs and measures foods and even does conversions. No more tricky kitchen calculations necessary!

5. Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker with WeMo
You can’t beat the convenience factor of a slow cooker—simply throw all your ingredients in, cover and enjoy a homemade meal a few hours later. You don’t even have to be there while it’s cooking! This one takes it one step further: It allows you to adjust temperature and cooking time right from your smartphone. So if you get held up at work or stuck in traffic, you can make sure you don’t overcook your dish or that your food is still warm when you walk through the door.

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