Banana Yum

Do you ever bake your own muffins or do you just grab-and-go from your local bagel store/coffee shop?

If you’re a grab-and-goer, you may want to rethink that plan with summer fast approaching. Since muffins can often come close to 400 and 500 calories {each!}, perhaps baking your own is worth the effort. Plus, you can control what goes into it. Take a look at what I baked this week:

IMG_3591Delicious, low-cal and healthy!

IMG_3592Chocolate-y goodness!

I came across a great recipe on Instagram from Colorfulfoodie. Check it out on Instagram if you’re interested. I’ve found other good recipes there as well. This is called a blender cake (but can be put into a muffin tin too as I did). If you’re not a baker, trust me, it’s sooo easy! You can even make it gluten free.

Ingredients:

2 overripe bananas

1/4 cup Greek yogurt or apple sauce

1/4 cup honey or agave

1/4 cup coconut or brown cane sugar

1-2 eggs (or 2-3 egg whites)

1/4 cup almond milk (or any milk)

1 cup flour or a combo of next 3 ingredients

1/2 cup gluten free flour (or any flour)

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1/4 cup almond meal

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash salt

handful dark chocolate chips for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips) together until mixed well. Prepare muffin tin or cake pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is set.

Makes a great breakfast or mid-day snack without the guilt. Try it. You can do it!

Fight the Winter Workout Blues

As the saying goes, summer bodies are made in the winter. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been finding it more difficult to work out this winter than I usually do. Perhaps its because of the cold temps or maybe I just need a change in my workout routine. Finding a solution to the gym-drearies, which I seem to have a case of, is my current goal, so I decided to share some of my winter motivation tips with you:

  1. Buy some new gym swag- Personally, I really like Athleta but any new workout wear or footwear usually re-energizes me.
  2. Checking out the summer line in my fave catalogs- bathing suits included. This usually reminds me that spring and summer are right around the corner!
  3. Find a {new} workout friend- working out with a new buddy will allow you to sample someone else’s fitness routine and see what they’ve been up to at the gym. This could help get you out of a fitness rut.
  4. Try a new class- maybe hot yoga will transport you to a tropical place, on your yoga mat!
  5. Don’t skip exercise totally- even if you’re not in the mood for your usual fitness routine, at least do something. It could be a walk around the block or some ab work on your living room floor. A little something is better than a lot of nothing!

winter

Ian DiGiacomo, fitness director {and fantastic trainer!} at Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness in Garden City is here to shed some light on why some of us {not mentioning names here} find it more difficult to get our sweat on during the cold winter months.

Adults are inherently less active during the winter months. The low temperature and seeing less sunlight can diminish your energy levels for a number of reasons.

Physiologically, your vitamin D levels may drop due to less sun exposure. This can effect your serotonin levels, which is a hormone responsible for mood elevation. Consult your physician in regards to Vitamin D supplementation. Keep in mind that Vitamin D rich foods may not be enough to combat a true deficiency.

Psychologically the winter tends to be depressing. With shorter bouts of daylight and limited options for activity, we tend to fall out of our daily exercise or activity regimen. Do not let the winter blues get in the way of your health and fitness goals. Get creative and get moving! Find a local health club and feed off the energy of other motivated individuals just like you.

Wishing you all a winter filled with motivation and movement. Spring is almost here!

 

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Out of the Mouths of Babes

Of course, we all have funny memories of things our children have said over the years. But where are these memories stored? Have you captured any of them- in a journal perhaps? Or a baby book? If you remembered to do that before the moment was forgotten, you’re one of the lucky few. More than likely, these gems are forgotten, or even if you did remember to record them somewhere, how often do you pull them out and enjoy them? Most likely, not often.

Local GC resident and dad, Matt Tepper, has found a way to change this and I love this idea so much that I wanted to share it. Matt has come up with Peanut Gallery Comics which turns a funny quote into a great-looking, original comic strip to be framed and hung on the wall. It’s a unique idea and so simple! Take a look:


Pretty clever and super cute!  This would make a fantastic gift- especially for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.  It’s pretty simple too. All you have to do is choose the illustration style you like best and upload your story or quote along with a picture of the people to be depicted. Click here to pre-order and to learn more about Peanut Gallery Comics.  


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Snowed-Inside Guide

In lieu of a weekend events guide, we decided to present you with a “Snowed Inside Guide” for this snowy weekend. If you’re not the frolic-in-the snow type, here are some ideas to keep you busy (aka sane) while you’re trapped inside during the first blizzard of 2016.

1. Stop putting off that DIY project. I don’t know about you but I have lots of them lying around the house. Maybe you can repurpose something that hasn’t seen enough (or any) use lately. I especially like this idea of turning an old crib into book storage.


2. Craft. Have some fun searching Pinterest for crafting ideas. Here’s an easy one (for those of us who are creatively challenged) to customize your phone charger. 


3. Upload all those great photos from your phone onto your computer and get them into your Shutterfly account or whichever service you use. There’s no time like the present! And here’s a Groupon for a Shutterfly photo book to get you started.


4. Organize, organize, organize! I know there’s probably a closet in everyone’s house that needs some color coordinating or just some basic organization. If not a closet, there must a few errant drawers or files around that are waiting to be straightened out. I love this idea for thinning out a clothes closet and check out this cool idea to organize your scarves.


5. Why not start watching a new series and binge on some Netflix?

 
6. Cozy up with a blanket and read, read, read. What better time to sink into Radiant Angel– the latest release by our own GC resident, Nelson Demille. 
 
7. Scrap those packets of hot cocoa mix and make your own from scratch. Here’s how I like to do it- a simple but delicious recipe from food.com that I make every winter. 
 
Enjoy the blizzard- things will be back to normal pretty soon!
 

{Chocolate} Zucchini Bread

Some have a sweet tooth, some have a savory tooth. Luckily {or not so luckily} for me, I have a sweet tooth. If you’re in the mood for something sweet {as I often am}, but want to keep it on the healthy side, have you tried making your own chocolate zucchini bread? 

Zucchini contains potassium, folate and vitamin A, all of which are important for good general health. Zucchini bread {especially when you add in a little cocoa} has just enough sweetness to power you through to your next meal.  

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar 
3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
large eggs 
1 cup applesauce 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini (about 1 medium) 
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Stir in applesauce.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating just until moist. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. 

3. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.



I had extra batter left over so I poured it into some muffin tins and made mini muffins. This recipe came from CookingLight.com and is not hard to make at all. Go ahead… try it!


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Chocolate Donuts Sans Guilt

I checked out a site recently called HungryGirl.com and found what looked like a delicious recipe idea to satisfy my sweet tooth… chocolate donuts. As I was skimming the recipe, I thought I could hear the faintest sound of angels singing in the background. These donuts were healthy{ish}!

Generally, I like to bake my sweets with a few tricks… apple sauce to cut down on some of the oil or butter, whole wheat or almond meal instead of white flour… small ways to reduce caloric intake and fat. But I’m definitely not a fan of skimping so much that you end up eating a brownie that tastes like cardboard. Because then… what’s the point? 

HeathyGirl’s recipe sounded fun and simple so I decided to try it. I first had to order a donut pan {I didn’t even know these existed} because these donuts are baked, not fried. I found this easily on Amazon. I followed HG’s recipe exactly and was happy to see it called for ingredients like pumpkin puree (makes for moist donuts with zero pumpkin taste) and egg whites. Click here for the full recipe.  They came out so great and were so simple that I had to share:


 Ready to be baked!

 Warm donuts fresh out of the oven. 

 Pre-glaze. 

Post-glaze with a bite missing.. Ahem…

These donuts made for a great breakfast treat or a guiltless snack and they were easy peasy. Also, they were totally delish even without the glaze, so if you want to save yourself even more calories, go sans glaze and I guarantee you won’t be missing anything!

Thank you to HungryGirl.com for this great recipe. Have fun baking and let me know if you have a favorite recipe to share! 


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Dr. Lizzio’s Tips

Today we welcome Dr. Dominique Lizzio back to Inside Garden City as she gives us some important tips for staying {dentally} healthy.


End of summer has arrived…lazy mornings will soon be replaced with mad dashes to the bus stop. With the rush of the school day, sometimes healthy dental habits get overlooked.
Here are some helpful tips to ensure your kid’s teeth stay healthy throughout the school year.

Brush!!!– Some mornings are more hectic than others. Brushing after breakfast is the best way to keep teeth healthy, but sometimes getting to school on time may mean having breakfast on the way. Brushing before eating is much better than not at all. Studies show that if we brush before we eat, the mouth’s pH will not dip low enough to form cavities.

Healthy Diet– Pack healthy food to eat at school. School provided lunches and snacks may be processed and high in sugar. Consider sending high fiber, low sugar treats. Keeping it simple…cut up fruit and vegetables and add cheese or hummus, will provide children with healthy alternatives.

Choose Water– Soda, juice or sports drinks often contain more sugar than a child should consume in an entire day. Aside from adding unnecessary calories, it can lead to afternoon energy crashes and, of course, tooth decay.

Safety– Children participating in organized sports should always wear mouth protection, helmets and face masks. An athletic mouth guard can help prevent injury to teeth and gums, and reduce risk of concussions if a head injury should occur. Ask advice from your child’s dentist about the type of mouth guard that is appropriate.

Check It Out– Children who fall and hurt their mouth should visit the school nurse and follow up with their dentist. Sometime issues from mouth injuries develop slowly and problems show up months or years later. Always let the dentist know if your child has had any injury to their face. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, it should be replaced within 30 minutes. Hold it by the crown, not the root and quickly rinse it with milk, saline or water prior to trying to re-insert it. If that is not possible, place tooth in some cool milk, sterile saline or between cheek and gum until you can get to a dentist or hospital for help.

Cavities Don’t Usually Hurt– Cavities in baby teeth don’t hurt until they become infected. Remember to bring your children to the dentist every 6 months for an examination, beginning 6 months after they get their first tooth. Healthy baby teeth are important for children to chew and speak properly. Additionally, these first teeth save the space for permanent teeth to grow into.

Braces– Since it can be challenging to brush and floss properly around braces, plaque can build up leading to permanent damage of tooth enamel. Make sure time is taken for your child to properly clean their teeth and make healthy choices when it comes to their diet. 

Healthy habits should begin at a young age, but it’s never too late to start. Wishing all of our families a safe, happy and healthy school year!


Dr. Lizzio can be reached at Long Island Family Dental. 901 Stewart Ave, GC. 516-747-2400

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Style on Seventh

With all of the great boutiques and fashionistas in Garden City, we would be remiss if we didn’t include fashion as a regular part of this site. When I walk about town, I always see plenty of well dressed women (and men too!) who deserve a little kudos for their style efforts. Since there’s an abundance of style right here at our fingertips, Inside Garden City will be tracking down the most fashionable of the fashionites walking around Seventh Street (and beyond)… which brings me to a famous quote from the wise Carrie Bradshaw: “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.”

This week, we started off by style stalking Lisa, our first fashionista. Here’s what we learned: 

1. Pants: Coquette
2. Top: Coquette
3. Bandeau: Coquette
4. Bag: Coquette (love the stud detail)
5. Earrings: Coquette
6. Bracelets: Coquette


We couldn’t have planned this better if we tried. Turns out, all of Lisa’s fashion items were recently purchased at Coquette, a cute Seventh Street boutique. So if you’d like to pick up anything that’s featured here, head to Coquette while they’re still in stock. 

Stay tuned and stay fashionable Insiders! You may be the next fashion subject featured on Style on Seventh. Thanks for reading InsideGardenCity.com. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

Party Party

So you want to have some friends over for some drinks, but you don’t want the stress of putting it all together? Or you don’t want to have the same old thing at your house that everyone else has at theirs? At a party recently, I spied some pretty cool ideas that were pretty simple, yet fun and different. I thought I’d share them with you. 

First, the drinks…

 Make your own mimosa instructions.

Very simple, right? 

 Use any fresh fruit you like for garnish.

I thought the make-your-own mimosa bar was a cute idea and so easy. Also, you don’t have to deal with making drinks during the party. It’s completely self serve yet something a little bit different than the standard line-up of wine bottles. Set this up and you’re done. 

Onto the next idea… Jenga anyone?

Jenga in a jar

I loved the Jenga in a jar idea as well. Sitting on a table at the party was a jar of Jenga pieces and some markers. Guests took a wooden piece of the Jenga puzzle and wrote a message on it for the honoree. The message could be a piece of advice, something funny or just a good wish. Then the personalized Jenga game becomes  a gift and also a great memory for the party’s honoree. This is a great idea for an anniversary or birthday party, as well as a shower/engagement or retirement party. 

Last but not least, and my personal favorite, was the wine basket gift idea. See below:

A wine basket like no other!

If you’re in need of a gift to bring to a party but want to give something different, this is a fantastic idea that proves you are a guest who goes the extra mile! Purchase an attractive basket or container and fill it with wine bottles but (and here’s the thoughtful part) mark each bottle with a tag or label stating when the recipient is to drink that particular bottle. You could make the messages funny (To drink if you ever get a hole-in-one) or thoughtful (To enjoy on your next anniversary or Open on Valentine’s Day). You could put as many or as few bottles in as you’d like. The basket I saw had a year’s worth of wine in it (12 bottles- one per month) with a cute message written on each bottle. Who wouldn’t love to receive this gift?

Hope I’ve given you some new and interesting ideas for your next gathering. Cheers!


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Quick. Easy. Brownies.

You know the feeling- you want something sweet but don’t know what. There’s nothing in the kitchen that appeals to you. You know home baked is always healthier than store bought but you don’t have a ton of time (nor do you want) to follow a long recipe. We’ve got three words: Quick. Easy. Brownies. 

If you’re short on time or if you are not a baker (you know who you are), you can definitely succeed at these brownies and impress someone! I love the simplicity and ease of this recipe: 

1 1/4 cup of Nutella, 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of flour. Mix it all together, pour into a pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 mins. Be careful not to overbake. 

And that’s it. So simple. Here’s how mine turned out: 


Not bad for 15 minutes- from start to finish. Click here to see the clip I watched which inspired me to try this recipe. Yes, it really is this easy. Happy baking!


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